Thoughts on Reactions to Offsides Review


I didn’t watch any of Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals last night but as I caught up with the news via Twitter this morning, I was completely unsurprised to see the media complaining about offsides review.

P.K. Subban appeared to score a goal for the Nashville Predators but, upon video review, the play was determined to be offsides.  Whether or not that determination was accurate can be debated, as is the case with most close video reviews.

The thing that I find interesting about this is that the cry is almost universally for the NHL to stop reviewing offsides.  That human error is okay every now and then if it leads to more scoring.  Oh, there are some who suggest a different offsides rule – such as one where a player’s skate is allowed to be over the blue line rather than on the ice, which I agree with – but those suggestions seem to be in the minority.

These takes are difficult for me to reconcile with the acceptance of horrible goaltender interference calls against Tomas Holmstrom just ten years ago.

I mean, there were no calls for rule changes based on the goals that were called back in October of 2007 or February of 2008 or May of 2008.

The idea that human error taking goals off the board just had to be accepted, while today we talk about human error putting goals on the board being embraced, is just too much dissonance for me.

I admit that there’s a little bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison here, as, unlike ten years ago, there is now the ability to challenge a goalie interference call in addition to the offsides challenges.  That doesn’t change the fact that so many call for a fix to today’s supposed problem while having remained silent then.

Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.

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