How to make video reviews better
Don't know if you saw today's story in which Lightning players and coaches spoke about tweaking the video review system, but thought their insights were worth discussing. With the story also online, I'm not going to go into all the detail, but the bullet points are:
* Perhaps handling reviews like the NFL, which has its referees make the calls after viewing a side-field replay monitor. This suggestion was from coach Rick Tocchet, who said the referees could still use the hockey ops people in Toronto as a sounding board. But the decision would be left to the on-site referees.
* Do not have the referees automatically call goals if they are not sure. Defenseman Steve Eminger said that it is not necessary for referees to call a goal on "impulse" or if they are not sure. In other words, a puck goes over the goal line but perhaps it was hit by a maybe high stick or was kicked. If it happened too fast to tell or if a perfect view was blocked, blow the whistle and simply say, 'Guys, we're going to take a closer look at this." Eminger said players would have no problem with this. As it is now, Eminger said, by calling a goal or a non-goal, a very high standard is set in which a video review only can overturn a call when there is conclusive proof. If the refs wait to make a call on what they might see in a slow-motion replay, there isn't that pressure to find "conclusive" evidence as much as use "common sense."
* Right wing Mark Recchi said if the league is so worried about increasing scoring, allow pucks to be kicked into the net.
* GM Brian Lawton said he does not have a problem with the video review process as it is applied, but would like to see it sped up a bit, perhaps with a limit of 90 seconds. Lawton said the minutes-long reviews during Friday's game with the Flyers contributed to an almost three-hour contest. "It can be detrimental to the product when the game takes so long," he said. "Use the same standard. You just don't want to see it open-ended. If it four or five minutes, it's not conclusive."