Prior to the NHL season starting off, the league decided in June to implement a new Offside Coach’s Challenge rule. This rule consists of the idea that teams will play an additional overtime period of not more than five minutes with the team scoring first declared the winner — if the game is still tied at the end of the overtime period, a “sudden death” format will proceed. The problem with this new system is that it was implemented to try and avoid egregious calls for plays that the human eye, and instant replay, could potentially miss. It gives the right to challenge a play, and potentially a goal, and get the entire play removed from consideration. Throughout this 2015-2016 season, 99 challenges were made, 88 were initiated by coaches, 37 of these challenges changed a goal to a “no goal.”
Despite the inherent likelihood of failure in giving biased individuals the ability to challenge a goal that they are unhappy with, there is also the backlash by fans towards the NHL with this rule. An avid fan wouldn’t want to see their favorite team be eliminated or lose a winning streak because the opposing team’s coach disagreed with a play that led to a goal. This is a problem the NHL will have to face at the end of the Playoffs during the offseason and reconsider if the Offside Coach’s Challenge rule is worth losing fans and faith in the game.
Pictured above is Islanders hockey player after having gotten a Panthers goal changed from goal to “no goal,” giving the Islanders a win over the Panthers.
Check out these other articles on the new rule: