Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils pulled out their second win in a row over the Vancouver Canucks, but it didn’t come without a ton of controversy. With four minutes remaining in regulation, Devils rookie Blake Coleman thought he had scored his first NHL goal only for the call to be reversed because Taylor Hall was apparently offsides upon entering the Zone.
The goal came after 17 seconds of zone time where the puck squeaked by Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Hall might have been millimeters offsides. According to the referees he was and that’s fair, but to take away a kids first NHL goal because a player entered the zone millimeters offsides isn’t why the rule was implemented.
This is what the coaches challenge was put in place to prevent.
The play last night was the definition of taking away the spirit of the rule. It’s not exclusive to last night either as coaches across the league have tried to take advantage of this rule in any way possible. In some cases, they can clearly see that the goal won’t be overturned and they simply use the timeout to slow down momentum from the other team, and especially if that team is playing at home.
Timeouts Are Worthless
The classic Peter Laviolette is timeout is far gone what it used to be, and now the timeout only has a couple of benefits. Coaches use it when players need a rest after an icing call and then in the last 30 seconds of the game to help draw up a play. Very seldom do we see coaches burn a timeout to roast their team because they’re playing awful or down by a couple of goals. It’s not worth it when being able to keep a timeout if they need it for a coaches challenge.
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It makes no sense to use it when in order to use a coaches challenge you need a timeout to spend for when the coaches challenge isn’t successful. It’s almost like insurance to the point where even if something that should be a goal, like last night, happens then a coach could use it, get it overturned, and he looks like a genius when he’s just taking advantage of a convoluted loophole at this point.
Devils Were Able to Overcome It
A lot of this becomes a moot point because of Hall’s heroics in overtime and not to mention the terrific backcheck from Travis Zajac to get the play going in the first place. However, this isn’t something that should be forgotten, but be added on to the list of plays are getting old very quickly.