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'Verification Line' could eliminate inconclusive rulings

Darren Dreger
5/12/2008 10:01:41 PM
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"Inconclusive," is the word the National Hockey League uses to uphold goal/no-goal decisions made on ice by referees.

We saw that in Game two of the Flyers-Penguins game when it appeared that Sidney Crosby had scored to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead late in the first.  Most believe that it was a goal, but video review couldn't conclusively prove it.

The NHL wants to get it right and has experimented in the past with visual aids that have never been adopted.  Last year, during the Stanley Cup final the NHL's hockey operations department tested what it called a "verification line."  The test was conducted in between games and was meant to be highly secretive.

The test was however caught on camera and it uncovered a second line painted on the ice behind the goal line creating a gap a fraction wider than the width of the puck.  So, if the puck touched this "verification line" than it would be deemed a good goal.

Sounds like a good idea, yet it has not been revisited and has never been presented to NHL general managers.

Front burner topics such as no-touch icing, the instigator rule and the ongoing discussion on one-minute penalties are considered more pressing.  According to one NHL head coach, it is his belief that anything that would help identify a goal from a non-goal would be unanimously accepted.

For TSN.ca, I'm Darren Dreger

Darren Dreger

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