Just a bit more that didn’t make it into my This Week in Worcester game story, mostly because it’s editorial and doesn’t really belong in that kind of story.
I’ll put the tl/dr at the top, so folks can scroll down to the next section if they want: The ECHL needs video replay.
While cost plays a role, the big reason the ECHL uses just one referee in regular season games is due to a lack of qualified officials. And the game, even at that level, is far too fast for just one official to call. I’m not getting into all the missed penalty calls, or the “reaction” calls that a single referee makes, I’m only interested in one thing today:
Last night there was potentially two of them, and while mathematically they didn’t impact the outcome in practice any goal scored does change the course of the game.
The first came just before Barry Almeida scored to cut Toledo’s lead to 2-1. Patrick McNally blasted one past Matej Machovsky that referee Andrea Barone ruled hit the post. The big issue is it probably went into the net and came out so quickly it appeared to have hit the post. The goal judge certainly thought so as he turned on the light.
Now I will say that the video shown on ECHL.TV is inconclusive. The quality isn’t good enough to determine if the puck went into the net or not. But when you consider how hard McNally’s shot was, and how quickly it bounded away from the net, something is missing…
…the sound of the puck hitting the post.
The Railers hit posts a couple times last night and both were clearly audible, so logic says if McNally’s blast hit the post there should have been some sound of it doing so. But there’s not.
Video goal review, with an overhead angle of the net, would make it clear if the puck went in or not. My money is on it was in. The ECHL’s money apparently isn’t enough to cover the cost of the system.
The second occurrence was later in the period when the puck got behind Railers goaltender Mitch Gillam. He then laid back to cover the puck with his body, but it looked like the puck might have been over the goal line when he did. And you guessed it, the ECHL.TV view is far from conclusive.
Again, would be nice to have a goal review video available on that play.
With the single goal last night the Railers now have the 26th ranked offense in the ECHL at 2.63 goals per game. Only Quad City’s 2.27 is worse. Greenville is a the top at 4.41 per game. That’s an insane number, so a better comparison is the 14th ranked team, which is Brampton at 3.24. That means Worcester is over six-tenths of a goal behind the median value.
News flash: that’s not good.
Worcester’s top point getter, Patrick McNally, is tied for 47th in the ECHL. McNally and Ashton Rome both lead the club in goals at six, which also ties them for 47th in the league.
As the Railers are finding out, you aren’t going to win many games without putting the puck in the net.
Defensively, despite their turnover issues the Railers are in the top ten, sitting at #9 giving up an even 3 goals per game. Just imagine how good they’ll be when they reduce their giveaways.
It all comes down to lighting the lamp more. And if the Railers can do that more often they will be OK. If they can’t, the offseason will be another long one for Worcester hockey fans.