October 27, 2011
Coming out of the NHL Research and Development Camp last summer, there were going to be tough sells and easy sells as far as modifications to the game.
The Brian Burke Bearhug rule and 3-on-3 overtime? Tough sells.
Putting a thin line on the ice that could measure, definitively, if the entire puck had crossed the line via video review? Easy sell, and something the NHL Board of Governors approved last month for this season.
So … what the hell happened to the goal verification line?
According to John Shannon of Sportsnet, it hasn't been installed across the league, as NHL hockey operations fiddles with protractors and graphing calculators to figure out where to put the thing:
It appears the hockey operations group still can't agree on the width between the red goal line and the green verification line.
The width of a puck is three inches. Therefore, logic would require the gap between the lines to be just over that three inches. However, the new cameras installed in the back of the nets create an optical illusion when it comes to the two lines, hence the issue. Installation date is now TBA.
In other words, the thing that was supposed to dramatically cut down on the optical illusions during a scramble near the goal line is being delayed because it has created a new optical illusion.
Somebody, somewhere can figure out how to put a computer chip in the puck, can't they?
Shannon writes that the lighter netting above the goal cages — giving overhead cameras a clearer shot of the action behind the goaltender — will be installed by the end of next month.
This is obviously a total jinx, but it has been a relatively clean month for disputed goals. Which is either luck or thanks to the improvement in technology to get the calls correct. We'll just give Shanahan the credit. Why the hell not.