NHL Week in Review (May 1-7)

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Sports are a constant pursuit of perfection as teams and their players are always trying to get better and trying to be perfect.

Whether perfection is achievable is another debate altogether but the fact is that the basis of every sport is that pursuit of perfection.

It is not restricted to the teams though as leagues themselves will always strive to be perfect.

The motivation for a league is generally due to pressure from fans when mistakes are made.

Either the wrong call in an important game or the wrong decision in discipline will always bring controversy and a call to fix things.

There is nothing that adds more debate than calls from the referees or umpires as it seems opinions are endless when it comes to the effectiveness of these very important parts of the game.

The controversy regarding officials in the game has only become bigger over the last few years as advances in technology expose mistakes much more frequently.

With more cameras and technology to work those cameras, it is easy to see the mistakes that are made.

The fact that there are 24-hour sports networks that replay these mistakes and analyse them doesn’t help either.

In the NHL, the effect has been seen for the last few years and like many other leagues, they have taken measures to reduce the mistakes.

They installed the coach’s challenge and expanded the replay review system to include far more plays than it had before.

The changes in the rules have corrected plenty of issues that fans have been complaining about for years.

Instead of debated whether someone was offside or if a goal went in the net coaches are able to challenge and more often the referees are taking closer looks at important plays.

They are getting more of the calls correct and mistakes are being reduced, although they will never entirely disappear.

In the playoffs, things have become much more important and these new rules are having a bigger effect on games.

There are more important plays that are being looked at to ensure the right call was made rather than having a team lose a game on a blown call.

After years of complaints, the fans got what they wanted with more accurate calls and a reduced occurrence of bad calls changing the season for a team.hockey-sidebar

Yet hearing the fans it seems like what they wanted was not exactly what they wanted.

The complaints have turned from blown calls to the speed of the game when referees have to hold a conference and get on the phone to find out the proper call.

The new replay rules and the coach’s challenge have brought a different speed to a game where one of the biggest advantages is the speed.

During the playoffs that reduced speed is taking a toll as there have been games decided on replay.

When T.J. Oshie scored a game-winning goal in Game 1 against Pittsburgh the celebration was on as the home crowd celebrated accordingly.

Then the referees put an end to the celebration when they went to review it before they finally called it a good goal.

The celebration started again but it sucked the life out of a very excited building.

That has become a common occurrence as replays are ruining the flow of the game and same can be said for coach’s challenges.

As the playoffs continue the NHL will hope that as the games get bigger the effect of these new rules is reduced.

It is the new battle that many leagues are trying to fight in the past few years as there is a debate about what to do.

The need for more accurate calls is real as there have been games decided by blown calls and a league doesn’t want to make that a factor.

The problem is the importance of accuracy if it comes at the expense of the game itself.

In the NHL if the replay rules are taking one of the best things about the game what price is the league willing to pay to be more accurate.

The rules are already changed and they won’t be going anywhere but now that they are here there needs to be a concentration on reducing the effect it has on the game.

As the playoffs continue it will continue to come up and more complaints will come with it as the league continues to try to make the game better even if it might not be the best idea in practice.

(Extra Thoughts on this week in hockey)

Youth Movement in Arizona
The Arizona Coyotes are in the midst of a rebuild with one of the best collections of young talent in the league and now they are taking that same youth movement to the front office as they hired John Chayka as their new GM at only 26-years-old

The Old Man Returns
Jaromir Jagr has proven that age means little as the 44-year-old led the Panthers at an age where very few players have ever strapped on the skates and he will give it at least another go around signing a 1-year deal with the Panthers

Boudreau Finds a Home
After he guided the Ducks to multiple playoff appearances but never won a Cup, Bruce Boudreau was let go but he wasn’t without a job for long as the Minnesota Wild signed the veteran bench boss who had plenty of interest from other teams



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