NASHVILLE – The National Hockey League introduced two significant rules changes for the 2015-16 season: Coach’s Challenges, in which video review can be used to look at goalie interference and offside plays that resulted in a goal; and 3-on-3 overtime, which replaced 4-on-4 overtime.
So how are they working, now that the season is past its All-Star Break?
There have 171 games that have required overtime this season. Of those, 109 games (63.7 percent) have been decided in the 3-on-3 rather than in the shootout.
Compare that to last season, with the 4-on-4 overtime format: At the 740-game mark, there were 186 games that went to overtime. Just 84 games (45.2 percent) were decided there rather than in the shootout.
About 75 percent of AHL games in the 2014-15 season ended in overtime under its seven-minute 4-on-4 then 3-on-3 format.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said to expect the 3-on-3 back next season.
“The Competition Committee with re-visit it. But I don’t anticipate, in any sense, that it would be in danger,” he said.
As for the Coach’s Challenge, there have been 150 of them so far this season. Of those, 112 have seen the calls on the ice upheld and 38 have seen them overturned.
There have been 92 coach’s challenges for goalie interference, with 76 calls upheld (82 percent).
There have been 58 coach’s challenges for offside, with 36 upheld (62 percent).
The biggest issue facing the Coach’s Challenge after the season will be whether on-ice officials should still review their own work. When it comes to goalie interference, there’s a significant hesitancy from the League to overrule what’s essentially a subjective call from the on-ice officials.
Offside is a more cut-and-dry call. There’s growing talk that this facet of video review could be handed over to the War Room, where the video technology is a bit more efficient than what the linesman look at on the ice.
“There was a detailed presentation on the coach’s challenge,” said Daly. “We mentioned that it could be something the managers might consider changing over the summer. It wouldn’t be something we change during the year.
Daly said that offside “fits more squarely in the category of the ‘black and white calls’ that we typically use video review for in the Toronto situation room. So I could certainly see that as an evolution of the offside review, in particular.”