What would the NHL be like if...
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03-18-2004, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Coquitlam, BC
Why is 4 on 4 more defensive?
Initially it wouldn't be, but with today's NHL, eventually it will be. Part of the excitement of 4 on 4 OT is because you're guaranteed a point and you just go for the second point. This leads to d-men jumping up into the play taking chances for that very reason(also there's only 5 minutes so not as much time to score). If this is stretched over an entire game, then d-men will be more conservative because they could get burned, and coming from behind is a situation you don't want to find yourself in. So there will be a lot of 2 on 2 battles and scrums that wouldn't be very exciting.
Why would there be next to nothing for fighting?
I'm not sure about this one. But if there aren't goons because of the need for speed in 4 on 4, then there wouldn't be as much fighting.
Why would there be very little physical play?
If you go out of the way to make a big hit, you're completely out of position and there's one less person to cover for you. It's like how there aren't many big hits in Olympic hockey, because the ice surface is so much bigger that you'll be too far out of position when you make a big hit(especially a d-man). If you reduce a player on the ice, there's so much more room out there that it's a similar problem.
Why would size no longer matter, and small 1-dimensional speedsters would rule the NHL?
Because there's so much ice, speed kills. Just look at OT now and look at who's on the ice. It's the speedsters and the mobile d-men for the most part. I wouldn't say 1-dimensional speedsters would rule, you still need guys that can play some defence. But if you can blow by a big lumbering d-man with speed, then him being big doesn't really have an affect on you if he's trying to catch up to you on a breakaway.
Why would taking a penalty be too costly (not that there would be too many with the way the NHL would adapt to playing 4 on 4)?
This depends if they let a team add a player, thus making 5 on 4, or take away a player, thus making 4 on 3. 4 on 3s are very VERY different than 5 on 4s. There is far more scoring on a 4 on 3 than a 5 on 4. You either get a 2 on 1 at the point or down low, setting up one timers.
Why would stay at home type defensemen be useless, as would defensive specialist forwards?
The only way to get some scoring if you don't have an entire team of speedsters is to get the d-men up into the play. But if the NHL progresses the way it does now using 4 on 4, they won't be given the defence first mentality.
Why would that be the end of the lumbering defenseman, or any skater in general who does not possess decent mobility, the end of the goon as well?
If you can't skate, you'll be a defensive liability. All that needs to be done is chip a pass off the glass and the speedy guy from the other team blows by you and grabs the puck. Next thing you know, it's an odd man rush the other way.
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