WILMINGTON, Mass. — Last week’s controversial non-call in Toronto’s win over Florida has reignited a league-wide drive to grant NHL coaches the right to have some means to challenge a call and get it reviewed via instant replay.
After the referees failed to overturn a Toronto goal that was scored while Colton Orr was clearly making contact with Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen, Florida general manager Dale Tallon told Darren Dreger of TSN he would recommend the adoption of a coach’s challenge rule.
Here’s a look at the Orr-Clemmensen play:
Dreger writes that 14 coaches who were asked would be in favor of a challenge rule, with some respondents wanting there to be some limitations on such actions.
That’s pretty much the camp Bruins head coach Claude Julien falls in, as we found out today after TheBruinsBlog.net asked him his opinion of such a rule:
“I think before I give my approval on that, I’d certainly have to look at what it’s all about,” the coach said after practice. “Certainly, you need structure when it comes to that. You can’t keep challenging every play you think should be challenged. There’s got to be some sort of structure, whether it’s one per game, or depending on what it is, the rule too, you can’t challenge just anything. So I think it’d have to be looked at pretty closely at minimizing what it is. I understand because we saw that game against Toronto and Florida, there was no doubt, it was black and white, that that should’ve been an interference call on Orr. Somehow you feel like, what if you get a review? Now it’s still a tie game.”
Julien then showed his photographic memory, when he recalled a game last January against Columbus. Derick Brassard seemingly drew a high-sticking call on Milan Lucic, but replays showed it was Anton Stralman’s stick that caught the Blue Jackets forward.
“Last year, we lost a game to Columbus because they gave Lucic a four-minute high-sticking penalty and it was his own teammate’s stick that hit him in the face, and they end up scoring the winning goal on that power play. Somehow those are kind of clear-cut things that should be revoked. So that’s where you think, should we put a challenge in? I’m not saying we should, because at one point you’ve kind of got to let the referees do their jobs as well.
“We make mistakes as coaches, we make mistakes as players, and it’s almost like we’re not willing to accept a referee making a mistake. And that’s where we’ve got to be careful. If we do it, it’s got to be a win-win situation. One would be having that right call being made, the other part is that you’re giving the referee a second chance to make the right call because he’s on the spot, he’s got to make that call right away. For us, in hindsight, it’s easy to look back at a replay and say it was wrong. But he had to make that call quickly.
“Whether we give him that opportunity, I think it’s got to be unanimous between the league, the coaches and the referees. I’m open to discussion when it comes to that, but I’m not ready to stand here and say we need this.”