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03-18-2004, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GoCoyotes
While a lot of you guys have good answers to the 4 on 4 debate, I don't see hardly a single post detailing why it would cause those results.

I could say that 4 on 4 would make it more physical, and then I guess I don't have to elaborate as to why it would be more physical

The jokes are nice and all, but it's an interesting thread and concept, I'd like to see some well thought out opinions on the matter.
if you need an explaination i can give one (ehc73 did a wonderful job answering them but since most of them are quoted from me i feel i should answer).

Why would there be next to nothing for fighting?
there are two things that contribute to this.

first off there will be no use for enforcers. generally enforcers lack footspeed, and are completely ineffective at 4 on 4. with smaller rosters that would follow 4 on 4 hockey, teams simply will not carry them. Jody Shelley, for example, has 50% of his team's fighting majors. the majority of the fights after enforcers on teams come from the muckers and grinders, who will also be inneffective at 4 on 4.

secondly, the lack of physical play, and the increased risk to taking a penalty will prevent players from having reasons to fight. not to mention with the shorter shifts that will be taken at 4 on 4 (with all the open ice players will get tired faster), a coach will most likely not be happy if one of his players sits in the box for 5.

Why would there be very little physical play?
the open ice reduces physical contact. there's simply more room to avoid players. if you don't believe this, you can always watch a European game and you can count the number of hits in the game on 1 hand. also with the absense of the muckers and grinders, and the decreased necessity of the powerforward, we'll see a lot less hitters out there.

Why would size no longer matter, and small 1-dimensional speedsters would rule the NHL?
directly related to the above. with the absense of physical play, there is reduced need for physical players. guys like St Louis would absolutely dominate with the open ice, while players that get the garbage goals will find themselves off the scoresheet.

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)?
instead of 5 on 4, we see a lot of open ice on the powerplay 4 on 3. you only need to watch a powerplay in OT to see how effective they are. a 4 on 3 can be as deadly as a 5 on 3 with the room players have. 3 people on the PK means you have to leave either the point, the slot, or the front of the net open (generally teams leave the point open).

Why would stay at home type defensemen be useless, as would defensive specialist forwards?
to create scoring chances you need to involve your defensemen up in the play. since there is more room it is easier to do so. watch any team in OT (that are going for it), and their defensemen will always join the rush. no offense to guys like Stevens and Richardson, but they just become less effective in a speed and offense influenced game.

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