More backlash in the media against defensive minded teams

Unthinkable
11-04-2003, 08:43 PM
http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/columnist.jsp?content=20031103_152607_3916

Dazzle over defence
Gene Principe

There's an old saying that defence wins championships. Well, after watching the Oilers-Red Wings Saturday night, one can't help but wonder why the NHL can't alter the rules so that the emphasis is put back on offence.

I know the New Jersey Devils have won three Stanley Cups in nine years but it's a wonder why they can't fill the building until they get into the playoffs.

This isn't going to be a hatchet job on the reigning Cup champs but it is another shot at trap-oriented defensive style hockey. Especially after what was witnessed at Skyreach Centre this past Saturday night.

Edmonton and Detroit put on a show with their willingness to skate, score and play the game the way it should be played. These are two teams that don't feel you have to smother each other defensively in order to win a hockey game. It is a pleasure to watch the Oilers and Wings open it up and dazzle the paying patrons.

The two teams combined for 8 goals on 64 shots. Now this wasn't a penalty-filled game with a whistle every time the play started to pick up. Instead there were only six minor penalties. It is not often there are 10 times as many shots as there are infractions (insert pat on the back for referees as well).
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holy roman empire
11-04-2003, 09:59 PM
why arent numbnuts like this guy whining about all the 75-70 NBA games with teams shooting 40%

they've succeeded in pushing baseball into a home run hitting contest and now the NFL is all about winning 34-31 (and if the offenses are struggling start throwing flags to give them 1st downs)

tmg
11-05-2003, 05:46 AM
The two teams combined for 8 goals on 64 shots. Now this wasn't a penalty-filled game with a whistle every time the play started to pick up. Instead there were only six minor penalties. It is not often there are 10 times as many shots as there are infractions (insert pat on the back for referees as well).


What's this paragraph trying to say? The Devils' games have been the most penalty-free games - both sides - for three years running. And if this season ended today, that would be four years running.


The Devils stand not only third-lowest in shots allowed, but they're also third-highest in shots taken. Why not complain about the 26 teams who are putting up less of an attack? Devils are top-half in scoring, top-half in powerplay rate. Now's not the time to launch into a diatribe on how the Devils are dragging the sports down into high-penalty low-scoring-chance affairs.

Profet
11-05-2003, 06:35 AM
The reason for the backlash is that all three metro teams are now playing defensive systems.

And so far they seem to be paying off.

Unthinkable
11-05-2003, 08:57 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/thorne/2003-11-04-thorne_x.htm

Scores!
Gary Thorne
Hall of Fame goalie Fuhr misses wide-open games

"I'd love to see the game opened back up where every night it turns into a shootout." Those were the words of former goaltender Grant Fuhr as he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday.

Fuhr is on the right track, and his words raise anew an issue that will not go away and is getting worse.

It is time for the NHL to stop the meandering. The NHL regular-season games are boring people to death. All this coaching and all these trap systems may be equalizers for teams with less talent, but teams with less talent should lose 5-1 and then get better.

These systems may allow teams to keep player salaries down by emphasizing the muck-it-up-at-center philosophy, requiring less talent and more grit, but it's killing the league.

"Ten years ago," Fuhr said, "when guys hooked and held your good players, somebody went and whispered in their ear and a lot of that hooking and holding stopped. The players had more respect for each other.
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4check22
11-05-2003, 09:14 AM
What a crock! It is so obvious that the Devils are the target of these articles, but the days of clogging up the neutral zone with slow moving forwards are over in New Jersey. They disrupt offenses with speed and a willingness to get back and play defense. It sounds to me as though what fans really want to see are guys flying in their offensive zone and loafing back to their defensive zone.

I am all for calling more interference penalties, hooking, holding, etc. NJ will adapt and has adapted. It isn't defensive hockey that is keeping people from attending games. It is the fact that ticket prices have skyrocketted the past 8 years. Lower players' salaries = lower ticket costs = more fans = better hockey atmosphere. Spare me the BS about playing defense. Fuhr wants things to open up because he is tired of hearing how he would have sucked on any other team other than the Oilers and their 5 goal-per-game offense.

Unthinkable
11-05-2003, 09:28 AM
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20031105/STRUTH05/TPSports/Hockey

How to fix disgusting, dull and boring NHL games

By WILLIAM HOUSTON
Wednesday, November 5, 2003 - Page S2

Disgusting: A word used by hockey analyst and former National Hockey League club executive Bill Watters to describe today's brand of hockey.

Dull: From television producer Ralph Mellanby, a former head of Hockey Night in Canada, to describe the lack of goals in the NHL game.

Boring: TSN's Pierre McGuire, on the neutral zone trap employed by the Montreal Canadiens and other teams.

"It just can't be fun [for the players]," said McGuire, a former coach. ". . . We've got to get the league to try to prevent that. And one of the ways to do that is change some of the rules."

Regarding the NHL's glacial attitude to change, Jim Kelley of ESPN.com said it well during The Reporters show on the club-owned channel Leafs TV last Sunday. He described the league as the most hidebound (inflexible and narrow-minded) sports organization he knows.
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Unthinkable
11-05-2003, 09:33 AM
If the NHL ever decides to go with a penalty shot carnival competition to decide overtime games, I'll be more embarassed to call myself a fan of this sport then I've ever been before.