RALEIGH, N.C. — Rod Brind’Amour doesn’t just think it’s time for the NHL to expand video review. The Carolina Hurricanes head coach believes the league should have done it long before a Stanley Cup playoffs that have included a number of controversial missed calls.
"It’s been time forever," Brind’Amour said Thursday before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final.
Brind’Amour was speaking about 12 hours after the controversial end to Wednesday’s Blues-Sharks game, where the officials missed Timo Meier’s glove pass immediately before Erik Karlsson scored the overtime winner to give San Jose a 2-1 lead over St. Louis in the Western Conference final.
The play clearly should have been blown dead before the goal, but the referees aren’t allowed to consult video review on that type of play under the current rules.
Brind’Amour believes that and more needs to change. He also referenced a moment from earlier in the game where Blues forward David Perron shot the puck over the glass from his own zone without being penalized — a black-and-white infraction that easily could have been caught using video.
"I was sitting at home with my son watching that game," said Brind’Amour. "There was a play earlier that I think it was when it was flipped over the glass, I said ‘Watch how long this is going to take. We’ll know within three seconds.’ And we did.
Three seconds, NBC showed a review, it was a penalty and [the officials] were actually quick to say no penalty.
"But it’s time. We can go on this forever. It’s time. It’s time to just get the calls right because it’s just too important. I mean the games matter so much and these — I don’t know, that’s tough last night to watch."
NHL general managers had the chance to recommend expanded review during their meeting in March, but didn’t choose to do so. They’re scheduled to gather again next month before the NHL draft in Vancouver and the atmosphere will be different following these playoffs. (Any change would have to be approved by the NHL’s competition committee).
Between the incorrect major-penalty call against Cody Eakin that swung Game 7 of the Vegas-San Jose series, the Artemi Panarin goal that stood in Round 2 after the puck hit the netting, the overturned Avalanche goal when Gabriel Landeskog was making a line change in Game 7 of the Colorado-San Jose series and more, there have been plenty of high-profile incidents this spring.
Karlsson’s goal was probably the most controversial of all since it came in overtime of a conference final, leaving St. Louis with no chance to bounce back from the officials’ error.
"That’s just tough in overtime because the game’s over. You don’t have an opportunity to sort of put it behind you, get back out there on the ice immediately," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, while adding he has no strong opinion on expanded video review in general
"You’ve got to wait two days, unfortunately, for St. Louis. That’s the part that stinks for them."
It feels as though it’s only a matter of time before the GMs hand down a different directive — although the question of what exactly should and shouldn’t be reviewable is a tricky one. The league is concerned about slowing down games and also opening a Pandora’s Box in the process.
However, the way Brind’Amour sees it, they have to worry about more than that.
"Help the refs. These refs are great refs," he said. "Live you can’t tell — I’m telling ya. So many calls I’m like ‘I don’t really know,’ I look down and I see [a replay] and then I lose my mind because I know it was the wrong call. But they can’t be expected to make those calls like that, it’s way too hard.
"There’ an easy solution for it, I think, and they’ll get to it because this can’t keep going on. It’s tough."
His solution is a little outside the box. He’d like to see two of the four officials taken from the ice and given a chance to make rulings from a monitor at rinkside.
"One guy can be watching the calls, the linesman can be watching the offsides," said Brind’Amour. "So you get them out of the way — they’re getting in the way, it’s hard. The game’s so fast.
"You watch how often the puck hits them."
Nothing will be changed before the Stanley Cup is handed out next month. At this point, all the NHL can do is hope another controversy doesn’t arise in one of the handful of games remaining this season.
"To me you can get these calls quickly and done right and that’s all you want as a player, as a coach and fans," said Brind’Amour. "You just want to make sure you get the calls right, I think, but we’ll see."