Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

That darned whistle

I'd like to know the genesis of the NHL's play-stoppage, whistle-blowing rule is, but it really should change. If I understand it correctly, it doesn't matter that the referee blew the whistle after Hossa put the puck in the net last night or even if a whistle blew. The play is dead when the referee intends to blow the whistle or just loses sight of the puck.

I think I understand the logic, but I disagree with it. The play is what determines what happens, not the physical action of blowing a whistle.

But as every other sport in its right mind knows, if you make the play stoppage point in the referee's head, you take away any chance for review. Had the rule been the whistle determines play stoppage, the Hossa goal (non-goal) could have been reviewed, it could have been determined that the puck was never covered and it could have been heard that the whistle came after the goal.

I'm not saying that the Red Wings would have won last night's game had Hossa's goal been allowed. But last night's play certainly pointed out that the NHL's rule on play stoppage is a poor one.


Anonymous lilja4mvp said...

the nfl did the right thing the season after the hochuli disaster...will the nhl?

...unfortunately, probably not.

May 6, 2009 at 8:10 PM 
Blogger jl said...

exactly bruce ... with instant replay, you can always go back and check if the puck was covered and then dislodged or pushed into the net. officials should err on the side of blowing the whistle late, if anything, since you can only review before the whistle blows (and players stop playing). the whistle is to prevent injuries and scrums, nothing else.

May 6, 2009 at 9:48 PM 
Anonymous Ryan said...

I dunno, this is a tough issue. If play is dead when the whistle goes, you could have a goalie legitimately freeze the puck, then someone drive his stick into the goalie's glove and push the puck into the net before the ref actually blows the whistle.

I do think the league should take a long, hard look at which plays are reviewable and which aren't. Kicking motions and high sticks are often difficult judgement calls, even with slow-motion high definition instant replays from multiple angles. Something like what happened to Hossa, or a missed offside, or even goaltender interference are often cut-and-dried, and replays show that refs sometimes just make a flagrantly wrong call.

Good luck getting anyone to take a look at this issue, though. Since the foot-in-the-crease debacle, the league has been terrified of video review.

May 6, 2009 at 10:08 PM 

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