THE VIDEOBOARD ABOVE the Wachovia Center ice was showing all the angles of a possible Flyers goal by Scott Hartnell.
It was Game 3, second period, score 1-1, the
desperate Flyers down 0-2 to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Upstairs, the NHL was doing a video
review to see if the Flyers had scored. In the arena, the crowd was convinced it was a goal, based on the visual evidence overhead.
One angle had the puck on its edge, just skittering across the goal line, to the thunderous
delight of the 20,000-plus fans.
During the regular season, each goal (or potential goal) is reviewed in Toronto. But for the Cup finals, the league does the reviews in the home arena.
Up in the booth, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy and senior VP and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell were poring over the replays, the crowd's roar ringing in their ears.
"We don't feel much pressure because our decisions are based on visual facts and we lean on our Toronto people if needed," Murphy said about the possible influence of the Flyers' crowd.
Murphy said at an arena there is more equipment available compared to what is in Toronto. "We have two in-net cameras plus we have
immediate access to the two HD overhead
cameras, plus all the replays and angles the
TV people show," he said.
"The Toronto video room is operational and
our staff there provides us with answers to any
issues, calls and concerns during the course of the game."
Murphy played 831 games for the Blues, Rangers and Kings. He coached the Kings and Maple Leafs. He is enjoying these Cup finals, which have seen three one-goal games, evenly matched teams and enough aggressiveness and chippiness on the ice to make any hockey fan smile.
"Love the games and the great hockey that has been played," Murphy said. "The game has never been faster and more skillful . . . yet it is still tough and physical." *
- Chuck Bausman