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NHL can sympathize with Kentucky Derby replay controversy

Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss examine what happened at the 2019 Kentucky Derby, where Maximum Security was disqualified and Country House was named the winner.

As the 2019 Kentucky Derby showed, even horses aren’t shielded from the effects that video replay can have on a sporting event.

We know all about the current issues with video replay in the NHL, and the offside challenge has been one of the most interesting ones.

One instance where video review would have come in handy was the egregious non-offside decision that allowed Matt Duchene to score during a game in Feb. 2013.

Even in real time you could see how far into the Nashville Predators’ zone that Duchene was, clearly ahead of the puck before scoring. You can even see the Nashville players slow down believing the call was about to come — and credit to Duchene for not stopping despite the lack of a whistle.

The Avalanche would win the game 6-5.

“I was shocked,” Duchene said afterward. “Even after I shot it, I thought maybe I missed something. Like I said, I didn’t see the play. It might have been a good call by the linesman, but from what I heard, it wasn’t. We’re not complaining, that’s for sure.”

Predators head coach Barry Trotz was clearly incensed and said the NHL told him that it was indeed a missed call.

“The explanation from the crew here was that we passed it back,” he said. “We didn’t pass it back. That’s why they didn’t blow the whistle. The league’s already talked to us about it. There’s no fix. It’s just one of those things. Everybody has a bad day.”

Two years later, the NHL’s Board of Governors instituted video replay expansion with the Coach’s Challenge, allowing coaches to challenge for potential offside on plays that led to goals. If they were unsuccessful, they would lose a timeout. In 2017, after NHL coaches began using them often as an opportunity to give their players rest, the league instituted a two-minute penalty for each attempt that failed to overturn a disputed offside challenge.

After missed high-sticks, the major and game misconduct on Cody Eakin that helped decided Game 7 of the Sharks-Golden Knights series, pucks hitting the netting and leading to goals, and continued goalie interference issues, the calls for expanded for video replay are getting louder.

Should teams be allowed to challenge everything? Should more eyes be involved in the review process? There will never be a perfect solution.

Kentucky Derby winner Country House will go for the second jewel of the Triple Crown on Sat. May 18 on NBC and the NBC Sports app in the Preakness Stakes, which will not feature Maximum Security.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.