Ramblings: Game 1 Talk, Vegas Mock Draft Fun (May 31)

Ian Gooding

2017-05-31

Game 1 analysis, Vegas mock draft

So, wasn’t that a bizarre Game 1?

I mean, when does a team ever win when taking just 12 shots on goal? It was weird seeing a graphic on the top-right corner of the CBC broadcast screen continually showing the last shot that the Penguins took. It’s easy to criticize the Pens and say they got lucky winning this game. But Nashville’s defense… you can see why Evgeni Malkin said they have four Erik Karlssons. Both in terms of blocked shots (nine among Nashville blueliners) and points (Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, and P.K. Subban rank second, third, and fifth respectively in playoff scoring among defensemen).

Usually that shot total would be the story of the night. Instead it was Subban’s goal that was reversed by an offside challenge. This call turned out to be hugely unpopular, not necessarily because the goal itself was reversed but because it took about six minutes to decide when video evidence appeared inconclusive to reverse the call. Not a good look for the NHL on NBC when it’s trying to market itself as a more exciting and less predictable option than the NBA playoffs, Charles Barkley notwithstanding.

But I’m going to go Contrarian here again (since Demetri is no longer writing here). I would take careful, critical analysis of a goal over the officials accidentally making what is clearly a wrong call. Video evidence shows that the referees get it right (or at least close to right) most of the time. I don’t mind taking a moment to get it right, though. It would sure beat a team losing a game over a bad call. After all, remember that video replay is also used in football (although I still don’t know what a catch is) and baseball (it sure doesn’t help speed up a game that’s already too slow for many kids).

Yes, let’s find a way to refine video review. Maybe restrict it to two or three minutes, and if you can’t decide by then, the call stands? But let’s also not forget why it is there in the first place.

We could also debate offside here. A friend of mine suggested changing the rule back to the puck going over the line first with no toe dragging. There’s also the idea of making more significant changes to the offside rule or even eliminating it. That’s a whole other discussion that I won’t expand on here.

Since this is a fantasy hockey website, what are the fantasy implications to the offside challenge? It’s one more factor that is bringing goal totals down, although likely by a nominal amount (I couldn’t find any numbers on the number of goals reversed by offside challenges). But having more reasons to challenge calls on the ice has the potential to bring goal totals down even more. That can’t be good for building interest in the game.

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Some more details were released on Tuesday regarding the Vegas roster situation: