- Updated: December 20, 2008
As reported on Puck-Rakers, Colin Campbell spoke with the Dispatch about the fiasco in overtime of the Dallas game. Here are the quotes attributed to Campbell:
I’ve talked with (president) Mike Priest and (general manager) Scott Howson a few times. I’ve talked to the whole group there in Columbus. I know they’re mad about this. I know they feel like they lost a really difficult game (Thursday), a game the probably felt like they could have won.”
“They’re adamant. They’re passionate. Look, every season there’s a club or two that, for whatever reason, has lots of tough calls go against them. They probably think the NHL is against them, too, but it’s not. It’s just not. We have very difficult calls to make, and we make them. It doesn’t matter who the player or the team is. We just make the call.”
“We watched it from numerous angles and at numerous different speeds. Before we make any ruling, we watch it one last time at regular speed. Sometimes we disagree on a call. But on this one we were unanimous that it wasn’t a goal. And there were eight of us in the booth.”
Alll well and good, Colin, but tell us how in the heck this became a “distinct kicking motion”. Why is it that the 8 of you allegedly all agreed and nobody else in hockey (willing to talk about it) agrees? We all know how this “unanimous” thing works. For the public face, they have to be unanimous. If they were so unanimous, if this was such an easy call, then why did it take so freaking long? This just does not pass the sniff test, Colin.
Review in Toronto was never intended to supplant the officials on the ice in terms of judgment. But now it is being used that way, where the subjectivity of the Toronto War Room is being substituted for the on ice judgment of the officials, who, in this case, were spontaneously unanimous that it was a goal. If a guy propelled through the air by a defenseman, not even looking at the puck, can be deemed to have made a distinct kicking motion, then we need to revamp this rule. Prohibit goals going off skates of offensive players, or don’t, but be consistent, and admit it when you make mistakes, like you did Thursday night.
I have not found any written rule that governs Toronto’s reviews of plays, other than that they presumably cannot review anything that the on-site goal judge cannot review under Rule 93. Broadcasters always talk about the need for “conclusive” evidence, but I can’t find anything on it. Please let me know if I have missed something, but if I haven’t there needs to be a rule limiting Toronto’s exercise of subjectivity, which is exactly what happened here.
Carefully parsing Colin’s response, he says only these things:
1. We know that people get pissed off
2. We have no grudge against any team.
3. We agreed on the call we made.
Uh, where is the “why” in all of this Colin? What did your guys see in the video that nobody else has seen?
Sorry NHL — time to get your act together, admit you screwed up, and put the wheels in motion to fix the whole kicking rule and the Toronto review standards. Otherwise, your credibility will just continue to be questioned, and fan faith eroded.