May 16, 2019

Another day, another NHL replay controversy

Photo: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, San Jose's Erik Karlsson scored the game-winner in overtime to give the Sharks a 5-4 win and a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues.

The controversy: The assist from Timo Meier that led to Karlsson's goal appeared to have been an illegal hand pass. All four referees missed it, marking another blown call in a postseason filled with them.

  • And, since the NHL's video review process doesn't include hand passes that lead to goals, the play was not able to be reviewed.
  • NHL official statement: "Plays of this nature are not reviewable. A hand pass that goes into the net can be reviewed, but a hand pass between teammates cannot be reviewed."

My take: I understand certain plays not being reviewable. It slows the game down and can make for a slippery slope. That being said, once the postseason begins, everything (within reason) needs to be reviewable. Period.

  • The world is watching. The goal should be to get the call right, regardless of how long that takes or what transpired on the play in question. Why hasn't every league adopted this policy?
  • And by the way, I'm not even 100% sure that replay would have overturned the goal. I think it would have, but who cares what I think? This is precisely why we have replay review! To find these things out for certain!

Watch: According to NHL rules, a player can't bat the puck with his hand to a teammate, or "[allow] his team to gain an advantage" with a hand pass.

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