While no changes are coming for Coach’s Challenges this season, one minor tweak is being implemented in time for the playoffs.
The NHL will be adding four new cameras – two at each blue line – to all playoff venues for the upcoming postseason.
“It’s not a rule change,” said NHL VP of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “It’s just helping make the process better.”
The NHL tested the cameras during this season’s All-Star Game and during the two outdoor Stadium Series games.
The new blueline cameras will be made available for coaches to review prior to issuing a challenge.
This isn’t the first time the NHL has introduced new cameras in an attempt to improve reviews for the playoffs. Last season, the league added cameras to the goalposts prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Those post-cameras came in handy recently, as the angle from the left post was key in confirming a Washington Capitals goal against the New York Rangers.
The goalpost cameras don’t always provide a conclusive angle, as the goaltender’s body can obscure the view of the puck. The league is currently looking into cross-bar cameras in hopes that the closer, directly-overhead view will help improve those close, goal-line calls.
With regard to the actual offside rule, that’s not on the table for any immediate changes. It has been reported that the league may consider a modification in the offseason to allow a player’s skate position to be judged based on the plane of the blueline instead of requiring it remain in contact with the ice.