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The state of the NHL today...

Old 03-28-04, 12:15 PM
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The state of the NHL today...

For the first time in a long while I watched a whole game yesterday between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

Canadiens take an early 1-0 lead and decide to sit on that HUGE lead. Their idea of offense is to dump the puck at the red line towards the Boston zone and pray something happens... Then there's the constant clutching and grabbing; I think I saw maybe a maximum of 3 consecutive passes.

Typical scenario: player gets puck, gets a glove in the face, gets his stick held for 15 seconds or gets poked in the ribs constantly while the refs check out the pretty babes in the arena.

I remember as a child in the 70's watching the speed demon Guy Lafleur (or all the Canadiens teams from the 70's for that matter) or Gretzky in Edmonton in the early 80's. It was a game of speed and finesse. I know the game changed but maybe I'm becoming a nostalgic fool...

Some facts and ideas about the NHL:

-Hockey does not translate well on TV

There's nothing like watching it LIVE and in person. The grind of the skates on the ice, the sound of the puck being moved and shot, the "crash" of the hits.

However, the last time I went to a game was 3 years ago. $120 for a decent seat, $7 for a beer. Imagine someone bringing their family of 4? I shudder to think about the $$$$$$

-82 games a season is too much

With some teams playing 3 or sometimes 4 games a week, not counting the traveling (the LA Kings have what now, 12 guys on the disabled list???) , it's obvious this has an effect on the players.

-Have a consistent and clear rule when it comes to ASSes (Acts of Sheer Stupidity)

The league had a chance to step up regarding the "Bertuzzi incident" and they didn't. He should have been suspended 40 games from the getgo. But no, the NHL will wait for a player to actually die and then maybe have a meeting to discuss things. Clear and consistent rules mean that if a moron who ingested a cocktail of nyquil, 'roids and some sort of elephant paralizer wants to take a golf swing at another player's head then maybe he'll think twice about it.

-Teams should have at least 1 midget on their roster.

You want entertainment? More TV ratings? There ya go.

Ok maybe not hehe.


Still, I can't wait for the playoffs to start! (i.e the real season)
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Old 03-28-04, 12:23 PM
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I agree it is the best sport to watch live.

BUT - there is too much clutching/grabbing/high-sticking, etc. in the game right now that is killing the flow.

The regular season might be a little too long, but it's the playoffs that are really too long. That and they change the rules come playoff time, or should I say they throw the rules out the window. It makes it seem like there is no point to the regular season.

And goaltenders pads need to be regulated by size. Those suckers are getting bigger and bigger.
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Old 03-29-04, 03:18 PM
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Instead of blaming goalies, why not remove the red line. Watch a bit of college hockey and you will see how exciting the game is. They have no red line. Much more exciting than the clutch and grab of the NHL.
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Old 03-30-04, 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by olie029
Instead of blaming goalies, why not remove the red line. Watch a bit of college hockey and you will see how exciting the game is. They have no red line. Much more exciting than the clutch and grab of the NHL.

Amen brother!
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Old 03-31-04, 10:53 AM
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Anyway, they're heading toward a lockout after the season so there might not be any NHL for a while...
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Old 03-31-04, 12:05 PM
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I don't buy the tv translation argument. I think it translates better to tv than baseball. I watch Olympic hockey on tv and I am mesmerized. More wide open. As for NHL hockey, I watch very little - only during the playoffs and only some selected games.

That being said, ticket prices for hockey (and pro basketball) are outrageous. Why does a ticket for a sport with 40 or so home dates cost the same as a ticket for an NFL game with 10 home dates? It doesn't make any sense.

Personally, I think the future of the NHL (or perhaps a new league) lies in Europe. Put 12 teams in North America (4 in Canada and 8 in the US) and 12 teams in Europe with very limited inter-continental play. Go down to a 66 game schedule (6 games vs divisional rivals, 4 vs non-division rivals, and 1 game vs inter-continent rivals). Have an 8-team playoff.
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Old 03-31-04, 12:20 PM
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I'll chime in since I'm one of the supposed "lost" hockey fans (I used to be a huge fan).

- Ticket prices are waaaaaay high.
- Find ways to increase the excitement of the game: increase scoring, do away with the trap defense, etc.
- Somehow find ways to promote hockey in communities. Most kids grow up playing baseball, football, and basketball....currently the 3 biggest draws for pro sports. How many high schools have hockey teams?
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Old 03-31-04, 02:18 PM
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Hey, put me in the list of pretty much "ex-nhl fans". Well, for the most part. I always find the first round of the playoffs to be great (always a great upset of #8 over #1, or #7 over #2). Doesn't help that I'm from Pittsburgh.

Get rid of the red line.
Let people have as big a curve on their sticks as they want.
Call penalties consistently, no matter the score or time left in the game.
Reduce ticket prices.
Collect Underpants.
???????
Profit.
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Old 03-31-04, 04:49 PM
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I agree getting rid of the red line (or making 2-line passes legal) would be a step in the right direction.
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Old 03-31-04, 04:53 PM
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The part of hockey that doesn't translate to tv is the fact that you can't see the whole ice. TV viewers miss out on seeing a play develop because the camera is always on the puck. When you watch it in person, you can see plays as they develop away from the puck, someone heading to the front of the net, etc.

In baseball, nothing happens away from the ball except baserunning. Now I agree the atmosphere of a baseball park doesn't translate to tv, but the sport translates better than hockey.
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Old 03-31-04, 07:07 PM
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And goaltenders pads need to be regulated by size. Those suckers are getting bigger and bigger.
There actually are restrictions on the size of goalie equipment already. Leg pads can only be 12 inches wide and 38 inches in length. Next year the league is changing it to 10 inches across. I think there's also restrictions on the glove and blocker.
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Old 03-31-04, 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by TheMadMonk


Get rid of the red line.
Let people have as big a curve on their sticks as they want.
Call penalties consistently, no matter the score or time left in the game.
Reduce ticket prices.
Collect Underpants.
???????
Profit.
Oh my god, they killed Owen Nolan!! YOU BASTARDS!!

I am NOT a leafs fan. And BTW, shouldn't it be the Toronto Maple Leaves ?? Bah...
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