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No goals thanks to replay still irk Tampa Bay Lightning

BRANDON — Perhaps, Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said, the NHL should handle video reviews like the NFL, which lets its referees decide disputed plays after watching replays on a field-side monitor.

Maybe, defenseman Steve Eminger said, NHL referees shouldn't feel obligated to immediately call a goal if there is a question about its legitimacy.

How the league handles its reviews was a hot topic at the Ice Sports Forum on Saturday, a day after two Tampa Bay goals were disallowed during a 6-1 loss to the Flyers.

Right wing Mark Recchi reiterated that officials who handle the reviews in the league's Toronto offices made a "huge mistake" nullifying his goal that would have given Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead with 37.1 seconds left in the first period.

Steven Stamkos said after watching video of his apparent goal, which would have cut Philadelphia's lead to 3-2 early in the third period, that he is certain he did not use a high stick.

And while Tocchet said, "I respect the process" of video review, he added, "I disagree with what Toronto sees."

In Recchi's case, a review overruled the on-ice call of a goal when it was determined Recchi kicked the puck. In Stamkos' case, the review did not find conclusive evidence to overturn the on-ice ruling.

Asked how he would modify the process, Tocchet said perhaps referees should handle the video reviews themselves and make final rulings with Toronto being a helper.

"(The referees) could talk to them and say, 'This is what I saw live. This is what I see,' " Tocchet said. "That may help some of the process in the future."

The NHL has had some form of video review since 1991 and only investigates goals. Conclusive evidence is required to overturn a call on the ice.

Any changes in the process must be prompted by the general managers or Board of Governors, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

Eminger said the reviews themselves are fine. But he wondered why referees must make definitive real-time calls. Because officials in Toronto have the final say anyway, why not signal for a replay without making calls Eminger said he believes sometimes are "on impulse"?

"Tell the refs, 'I know it happens quick and you want to make a call right away, but if you're not sure, maybe blow a whistle.' There's nothing wrong with that," Eminger said.

Stamkos agreed: "If they just would say, 'I'm not sure,' then they could go upstairs and they could look at it."

The referees seemed sure when they ruled Recchi's goal good. But hockey operations chief Mike Murphy said the review showed Recchi made a distinct kicking motion to knock the puck into the net, something Recchi disputed.

"If you had any common sense of how fast it was, there's no way I can kick that puck into the net," he said. "The refs saw how fast it happened; boom, boom, I didn't even know it hit my foot. How can I kick it in if I don't know it hit my foot?"

Recchi's solution, allow goals that are kicked. "They want scoring to go up, so … "

So Tocchet said it is time to move on.

"The breaks always even out in the end," he said. "It seems like a lot of breaks are going to come our way."

KOLZIG SURGERY: Olie Kolzig had surgery Saturday to repair a torn distal biceps tendon in his left arm, the team announced. The goaltender, whose season is over, is expected to need three to four months to recover.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

No goals thanks to replay still irk Tampa Bay Lightning 01/31/09 [Last modified: Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:36am]

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