Video goals reviews are usually either a godsend or a travesty of injustice in the NHL, depending on whether a wrong was righted or a blown call was upheld due to "lack of clear evidence" in the replay.
So it was with great interest we read this nugget from Dan Rosen of NHL.com, discussing the Research and Development Camp with Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King and focusing on an underreported technological test for the War Room:
Finally, King mentioned one of the more subtle changes that was tested Wednesday strictly for the Hockey Operations staff that work in the Toronto war room: The yellow verification line, which is situated behind the goal line and would be used in video reviews to determine if the puck did indeed cross the goal line. If the puck is seen touching the yellow line, it has to be a goal.
"Even with the replays, we still have situations where important goals are touch and go sometimes as to whether they are really in," King said. "I think that line is going to add a little bit of help to the referees and the linesman and those replays will be good because the reviews will be clear."
The NHL: Where one goal-line simply isn't enough goal-lines!
Clarity's always a welcome visitor to the War Room, and this "reference line" sounds like something that can only help make the process more accurate. Rosen's reporting also makes it appear that this might be an actual line on the ice and not a virtual one, preventing the NHL from having to deal with the imprecise technology of the NFL's first-down marker on TV.
UPDATE: Via Mirtle, here's a diagram of the yellow line on the ice.
Sounds promising, and probably cheaper than adding the necessary cameras to cover all angles or putting computer chips inside the pucks to electronically verify they crossed the line.
Of course, it does nothing to end the scourge on hockey that is the Intent To Blow rule or change fact that we have a replay system that's susceptible to rogue local producers hiding evidence. But give the NHL credit: It's addressing the imperfections of its goal verification system; perhaps it's only coincidental symbolism that it's with a yellow streak.