John Tortorella: ‘I Think We Should Get Rid Of’ NHL’s Coach’s Challenge

by NESN Staff

February 23, 2016

The NHL coach’s challenge was introduced this season to help overturn incorrect calls made by referees.

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella isn’t too impressed with the results so far, and after losing a challenge in Monday night’s 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, the veteran head coach wants the entire thing scrapped all together.

“I think we should get rid of it,” Tortorella told reporters after his team’s victory. “I think we should just get rid of it. And let the refs make the call, because if we spend two or three minutes and a coach wastes his timeout to try and get the call right, and we still get it wrong, then why have it.”

The call Tortorella was upset about came in the first period Bruins winger Loui Eriksson’s right skate appeared to make contact with Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo. Eriksson was in and around the crease and received credit for the goal after the puck deflected off his leg and into the net.

A good goal was ruled by the referee, and the Columbus bench boss couldn’t believe goalie interference wasn’t ruled after he challenged the call.

“I wanted my timeout back, quite honestly,” Tortorella said. “And listen, I respect the referees, it is a really tough job, but I thought this was for that reason, to make their job easier. It gives them a chance to look at it again, get some information from hockey ops (in Toronto), but to get that one wrong it?s just beyond belief to me.”

It wouldn’t be too smart to scrap the coach’s challenge after only one season. The best route is reviewing the process in the summer and determining which tweaks would make it better. If the coach’s challenge isn’t working after those changes, then maybe a conversation about eliminating it could be had.

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