August 17, 2011
TORONTO — Video goal reviews in the NHL are, for the most part, effective in verifying or denying controversial goals. It's not a perfect system, mostly because camera coverage in and around the cage can never capture every angle (and because of the lack of HD coverage in many arenas).
The goal verification line is an attempt to remedy that.
This is the second year the NHL is using the verification lines in its Research and Development Camp. It's a line parallel to the goal line, set back slightly more than 3 inches from the line (roughly the size of a puck).
As a tool for video review, it can only be a good thing: The puck touches the line, and it's verified as having crossed the goal line.
For some people, the issue is aesthetics — do you prefer your verification line is the new minty green or the classic faded yellow?
Seeing the lines on the ice, one thing came to mind: The novice fan.
If it was your first NHL game and you saw a bright green line behind the goalie, there's a very good chance you're going to think that's the goal line. Then the person next to you will sigh deeply, correct you and then wonder how he or she is going to have to explain icing later in the game.
It's also not a cure-all. It doesn't remedy the mystery of a goalie glove or body covering the puck and obscuring it from the cameras. Which brings us right back to ye olde "put a computer chip in the puck" argument, which the NHL has said they've been unable to do successfully.
Other than that, the verification line is a no-brainer if it'll help with the ultimate aim of video review, which is to get the decision right.