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Lightning Nuts & Bolts

Short shift w/Alex Killorn

Favorite Christmas gift as kid: I got one of those basketball arcade-like games.

How do you Christmas shop — in store or online? Both.

Go-to store: Neiman Marcus.

Must-click website: Probably news website, CNN.

Better singer or dancer? I'm a pretty decent dancer.

Guilty pleasure: Reese's Pieces, I love those.

TV character you'd want to be like? Don't know if I want to be him, but I watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia a lot and Charlie Kelly, I think he's really funny.

Behind the challenge

This is the first season NHL coaches have been allowed a challenge, a chance to review goals only on goaltender interference and offsides.

It makes for some quick thinking by coaches, but even more so for their staff behind the scenes.

Just ask Nigel Kirwan, the Lightning's long-time video coach.

Coach Jon Cooper lost his first challenge, Dec. 2 in Anaheim, when he contested whether wing Ryan Callahan had actually interfered with Ducks goalie John Gibson on an apparent goal by Alex Killorn. Callahan had inadvertently bumped defenseman Hampus Lindholm into Gibson, who fell. Cooper didn't think it warranted interference and neither did Kirwan, who had analyzed replays with video coordinator Brian Garlock in the visiting dressing room at the Honda Center.

"Challenge it, challenge it, challenge it!" Kirwan said via radio to assistant coach Steve Thomas, who was on the bench near Cooper.

The Lightning lost the challenge, as well as a timeout, with Cooper saying it mostly reflected how hard it is to overturn a call on the ice.

But coming to a decision is a team effort.

Kirwan said he and Garlock review every goal that's scored from the dressing room, looking at potential offsides or goaltender interference calls. Kirwan said they have four views, two overhead cameras, one in each net, and both the home/road broadcast feed (which are usually the same).

"We're at the mercy at whatever's on that line," Kirwan said.

Kirwan and Garlock have to act fast, however, as they have around 30 seconds to review questionable goals, both for offside and interference, before a decision has to made and relayed via radio. That's unlike baseball, where managers make a slow walk to the field, stalling to give their video coordinators time.

"What's a little frustrating is we have 30 seconds to make a decision, two things to cross reference, and when referees decide it takes 6-7 minutes to make up their minds," Kirwan said. "It's a little absurd in that regard, but it is what it is."

Quote to note

"I think the last time I saw that call I'm not sure there was color TV, was there?"

Senators coach Dave Cameron on two penalties being called on different Ottawa players at the same time in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Lightning.

From the fans

Question: If there was going to be a sandwich named in your honor, what would be on it?

D Anton Stralman: "Pulled pork, cole slaw. That's all I really need. And some casserole or something."

Have a question for a Lightning player? Send them to beat writer Joe Smith @TBTimes_JSmith or email joesmith@tampabay.com. We'll answer one in every Sunday Times.

Lightning Nuts & Bolts 12/12/15 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2015 10:00pm]
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