Coach's challenge not needed in NHL

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET

Owners, players, general managers and coaches are all over the map when it comes to the idea of a coach's challenge for disputed calls.

A coach's challenge, to have controversial plays reviewed by video, became a talking point after a goal by Toronto's Colton Orr was allowed to stand despite obvious goaltender intereference on Florida Panthers netminder Scott Clemmensen Tuesday.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray have been proponents of allowing a coach's challenge and not just for controversial goals. They have been pushing for a coach to be able to challenge any call on the ice, like, for instance, if a coach thought a high-sticking penalty had been missed.

They seem to be in the minority. Four or five players interviewed didn't want to have every judgement call by an official being second-guessed.

Panthers coach Peter DeBoer liked the idea, but worried that some coaches might use the challenge late in a game simply as a delaying tactic, like an extra timeout.

Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is in favour of it, with an unsuccessful challenge costing the coach his timeout.

Personally, I don't think there's a need for a coach's challenge.

Let the referees do their job, which they do pretty well game after game.

The NHL's War Room can review certain elements to determine if a goal is legal. If goaltender interference on a goal is deemed to be an issue going forward, it should be added to the list of things used to determine if a goal is good or not.

HEAR AND THERE: Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavaelc is expected to make his return Saturday after that scary fainting spell on opening night, even though the cause of his collapse was never really determined...Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who has played one game since March, 2009, because of a concussion, is taking contact in practice and could soon go to Houston of the AHL for a conditioning stint...Only 9,128 showed up in Columbus to see the Jackets play the Oilers Thursday night, a new franchise low...The highlight of Phoenix enforcer Paul Bissonnette's week? Not the hot dog in the Bell Centre media lounge. It was finding out Detroit's Nik Lidstrom follows him on Twitter. Lidstrom told him during the warmup for their game Thursday...Bissonnette, who didn't play in the game, sampled The Joe's hot dogs, which he said were a cross between a sausage and a hot dog. "Did I mention I paid 4.25 for the sautdog?" @BizNasty2point0 tweeted. "Now I know how they can afford to pay us. I thought I was getting a zetterberg jersey with it."

THE BUZZ: Good piece by ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun on goaltender Ray Emery, who is attempting to come back from elaborate hip surgery, after which he was bedridden for a month. "I appreciate what I've been afforded in playing a game for a living," Emery said. "I've had a lot of bumps along the road that were partially self-inflicted and partially just a bit of bad luck. But I'm definitely not going down without a fight."...Tampa's Steven Stamkos is growing and adapting. Of his 51 goals last year, 14 came from the left wing circle. Only one of his eight is from there this year. "Teams are taking that away," he said. He's finding other spots from which to score.

JUST SAYING: After New Jersey, the other real coaching hotseat is in Buffalo. There were high expectations for the Northeast winners from last season and there are some rumblings that after 13 years, the Darcy Regier-Lindy Ruff GM-coach tandem could be feeling heat. Both are in the last year of their contracts. Nothing's likely to happen soon, however, because Sabres president Larry Quinn underwent heart surgery early in the week...The Atlanta Thrashers are expected to keep 18-year-old Alexander Burmistrov, who has shown a defensive maturity beyond his years. Also interesting, according to behindthenet.com, is that he leads the NHL in penalties drawn, with nine, which tells you he's around the puck and moving his feet.

JUST WONDERING: Don't know if there's a better debate than the Jaroslav Halak vs. Carey Price question right now. Both are off to great starts, Halak aided by the fact the St. Louis Blues give up the fewest shots per game in the league (just over 25).

PARTING SHOT: There are no NHL games on Halloween, which is a relief. No telling how many times that tired "people came dressed up as seats" joke would be used in Atlanta, Columbus, Phoenix, Florida...take your pick.


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