What is this, pro wrestling? Why can't NHL replay be better? | Sam Donnellon – Philly.com

When I was 13, I was taken to my first-ever pro wrestling match in Portland, Maine by a short-order cook named Ricky Butterfield. Despite being several years older, Ricky said he believed in the authenticity of the match more than I did, and was therefore in a froth when, at a critical juncture of the tag-team match pitting Chief Jay Strongbow and Andre the Giant against Professor Toru Tanaka and Mr. Fuji, the referee did not see Tanaka throw salt in the Chief’s eyes, thus relegating him helpless.

I sometimes wonder how it might have played out if wrestling had replay review at the time. Would points be deducted? A disqualification?

Deportation?

Then again, if it was the NHL brand of replay review, in which some transgressions are reviewable and some are not, the sneaky professor might have gotten away with it anyway.

Take, for example, Bobby Ryan’s overtime goal for Ottawa the other night in Boston, where he elbowed a player’s head into the boards, flopped like a well-trained wrestler when Bruins forward Riley Nash face-raked him, then scored the game-winning goal on the ensuing power play.

Penalty calls are not reviewable. Otherwise, at the very least, Ryan might have been cited for the elbow, the embellishment, or both. The same is true for Columbus captain Nick Foligno, who drew a high-sticking penalty early in Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh with a well-timed jerk of the head. When his playing days are over, he should do clinics. The Blue Jackets beat Washington earlier this season after Foligno pulled the same stunt to draw a penalty on Nicklas Backstrom.

Goalie interference calls are reviewable, but not ones in which the goaltender is bumped outside of his crease. Then it goes to a judgment call by

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