NHL Replay Does It Right

May 22, 2010 | Marty Mossa

Now I know to completely compare the NHL replay system with the NFL’s would be foolish.  In hockey you only need a replay for one thing and one thing only; and that’s goals or non goals.  Football is far more complex.  Unlike hockey, football needs to catch the action on all 120 by 53 1/3 yards of playing surface.  In hockey replay needs only to concentrate on two goal nets.  So to compare them in those regards is crazy.

Hockey has an advantage.  The NHL is able to fix two cameras on the net.  There is one above and one inside the two nets.  Then they use the game cameras to hopefully pick up the rest.  Here’s where I will compare.  In the NFL a coach has to call for a replay or a booth review in the last 2:00 of a half.  Then some incompetent NFL official watches a screen and decides if he wants to be proven wrong or not.  In hockey, the replay is controlled by NHL officials in Toronto.  They make the call, not the referee.  There are no red flags, no idiot officials with his heads under a blanket watching the play.  It is an imperial official hundreds of mile away making the call.  And because of replay, Chicago is up 3-0 today instead of 2-1.  It took three camera angles to determine that the San Jose players actually kicked in a puck instead of using his stick on a non goal in the 1st period.  They got the call right. 

How many time have we seen NFL officials blow calls they were right on top of, then get it wrong even with replay (ie Steelers, Steelers, Steelers).  The NFL should adopt the NHL’s way of doing it.  Any play that is close should require an official from New York calling to the ref at that particular game.  “Hey I want to take a look.”, an officials time out.  Let the New York official determine the correct call.  Get rid of red flags, get rid of home teams controlling replays.  That’s the way to do it.  I know the NFL is the most popular league in the world (sorry baseball & soccer).  But they could take a lesson from their little brother, the NHL.