Detroit Red Wings Goal off the Netting: What Should the Rule Change Be?

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

If you missed the game between the Red Wings and Kings, you missed what will perhaps be the worst goal allowed to stand in the NHL this season. Here take a look:

This goal tied the game late for the Wings, allowing them to steal a point in regulation and eventually earn a second point, as the Wings used their fresh chance to win the game in a shootout off a Tomas Tatar goal and three Jimmy Howard saves.

As a Wings fan, my heart breaks for a team victimized by a bad call... when that team is the Wings. Of course I don't want to do the accounting for whether this evens out an old karmic score or whether the Wings will owe the universe/Kings one going against them. I don't give a shit about that. What I do want is for the NHL to make sure a goal like that never counts against the Wings unless it should. Obviously, some sort of rule change is needed, but which way should it go?

Option 1 - Make the Puck off the Netting Reviewable

This one is the simple no-brainer. Technically it should be a no-brainer because if all four on-ice officials lost sight of the puck in their inability to see it bounce off the netting, then they should have blown the play dead immediately anyway and the lucky bounce off Jonathan Quick's back should never have counted in the first place thanks to either the whistle or our old friend intent to blow.

The Pros: The officials were already gathered to review this, so it doesn't take any additional time. This allows the league to use the resources available to them in order to get the call right every time. There's essentially no reason for this not to be reviewable other than some nit-picky oversight. Unlike cases of goaltender interference where we don't want to slow the game for judgment calls, this one is cut-and-dry: if there's clear evidence the puck has left the playing surface, the goal shouldn't count.

The Cons: There's a chance that we do get caught up in added slow-downs to the game where it doesn't matter. Last night's goal wouldn't have counted and the Red Wings would have lost.

Option 2 - Make the Netting In-Play

Why should the whistle go just because the puck bounces off the netting and back into play? It doesn't blow when the puck hits the plexiglass above the boards. The difference should be something as stupid as what the puck-blocking material is made out of? Did the whistle blow when it went off the chicken-wire that used to be there before plexiglass was invented?

The Pros: This creates more flow to the game and adds interesting wrinkles, including a drastic change to the way dump-and-chase works in the NHL. This could go hand-in-hand with an end to the goalie trapezoid which seems to have run its course in the NHL. Set plays off the netting would be a gamble and could make for some truly entertaining play/goals.

The Cons: The differences in the way the puck comes off the netting versus the glass are severe and could lead to some very dangerous problems for forecheckers and defenders. Imagine a punt coverage team converging on the returner just as the ball gets to him and he becomes eligible to get blown up for touching it? Yes, this would happen with live netting in the NHL, a problem that hybrid icing was recently introduced to stop. Additionally, it replaces the randomness of dump-and-chase with a different kind of randomness. This would make the game less-predictable, but that doesn't necessarily mean more fun. Highly-skilled teams win in predictable-yet-fun ways.

BONUS: Option 3 - Keep Things as they Are

Hey, why change just for change's sake?

Pros: Detroit still wins last night and we get to waste a day or so bickering about how dumb it is that it happened like this. Universe keeps spinning.

Cons: The NHL admits they have a stupid rule that they won't do anything about for a stupid reason. Universe keeps spinning.

So which do you think they should do? Vote below.

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