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Fixing the NHL's Stupid Nets to Eliminate Disputed/Confusing Goals


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I'll try to keep the rant short and to the point this time (I promise).   :)


Every game there is at least one goal that is scored which results in confusion because the puck pops out of the net as quickly as it went in. This results in a video replay needing to be done and wastes a few minutes of time. (It's even worse when the play continues for minutes afterwards and has to be undone.) The root cause of the problem is the design of the modern NHL net. The problem is that the mesh on an NHL net is way too firm, and it doesn't even look like they use rope any more. It looks like plastic. The puck hits it and it's like it just hit the end boards. It shoots out of the net as quickly as it went in. The mesh in a traditional hockey net is made out of rope (like a fishing net), and it sags and droops. When a puck hits it, the force of the puck is fully absorbed. The puck is swallowed up by the net. It doesn't rebound. 


Now, the league has changed the nets over the years (deviating from the original/genuine article) and would argue that the current net design is in place for the following reasons:

  1. Aesthetics (looks pretty)
  2. To keep pucks from resting on the back of the net (which causes a play stoppage)
  3. An unstated/implicit reason no doubt has to do with the use of the net cam and video review having a "mesh-free" view of the inside of the net. (Of course, neither of those used to exist.)


So, there are a variety of solutions available (none of which the NHL will ever implement). They include:


  • Adding a soft inner layer of mesh to catch and trap pucks while keeping the outer layer of mesh hard. (NHL won't do it because it'll affect the net cam and video reviews.)
  • Making the outer portion of the net out of a hard see-through material like plexiglass which can be curved and shaped to match the exact proportions of the existing mesh in an NHL net, and then have a soft inner mesh to catch and trap the puck. This would allow fans, video review, etc. to look through only one layer of meshing instead of two, and would keep pucks from resting on the back of the net. (This would never be implemented because it'll look different from what fans and players are used to. Quite different. The nets would also be heavier as well and therefore potentially more dangerous if a player crashed into one, although players crash into the boards/glass all the time with no effect and it's really only the posts that are dangerous when you hit a net, nothing else.)
  • Go back to having a soft mesh and live with the fact that pucks will rest on the back of the net if they happen to land there. (NHL won't do this because the NHL won't ever go back.)


The only reason why I consider this to be an issue is because it happens so frequently. (Once per game on average as mentioned above.) We've reached the point where the referees can no longer tell whether a goal is scored or not. A video review is now required on almost every NHL goal. I think the NHL wants it this way, but all I'm saying is that it doesn't have to be this way. There is a better way. :) 




Edited by WordsOfWisdom
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8 hours ago, lynxrattle said:

We can send a robot flying over the surface of Mars, but not find a way of instantly getting a signal of the puck crossing the line. It is ridiculous.


Oh that's another problem I solved too!  :) 


The whole soft mesh thing is really for the benefit of fans and referees so that when a goal is scored, the puck will be sitting in the net where it's clearly visible. It'll never kick back out. That eliminates most of the controversy surrounding goals today.


However, for those plays where the puck is trickling over the line and there's a dispute as to whether it crossed the line before a defensive player swatted it away, I can solve that using image recognition software and a fixed camera inside the net (not the moveable net cam). The live broadcast of the game would include a live feed from that camera. That feed would get run through a computer in real-time where the system will process images frame by frame. The moment a puck crosses all the way over the line, it'll send a signal to the goal lamp on the ice to illuminate. Bingo, you've got your goal. Effectively, it would be a computerized, infallible goal judge. A "goal judge" capable of seeing 60+ frames per second and never missing anything.  :) 


You could use sensors and other gadgets but then a sensor has no "smarts" and wouldn't be able to differentiate between a puck crossing the line and a defenceman's stick, or a goalie's glove, etc. A computer on the other hand, could be easily programmed to recognize a puck and then to look for it within the frame of a still image.  


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2 hours ago, OccamsRazor said:


Stupid net.





In all the years I've watched hockey, I can't think of a time when a Toronto commentator laughed at the opposition after a goal. In fact, I can't even remember a time when a Toronto commentator didn't cheer..... when the opposition scored.  In Toronto, the commentators almost seem to APOLOGIZE when the Leafs score a bad goal. They sulk and feel sad for the opposing goaltender on a soft goal instead of the "bwahaha" reaction that you think you would get from a home team's commentator (like this).  Just an observation. 


If I could have ONE THING on this Leafs team, it would be a total homer commentator who cheers for the Leafs and buries the opposition. I want the Jesse Ventura of Leafs commentators. Sick and tired of having "safe", "50/50" commentators. Joe Bowen is close, but they've got him on Leafs radio. Toronto desperately needs a "heel" commentator. Someone opposing teams will hate.   



Edited by WordsOfWisdom
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