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09-08-2004, 02:33 PM
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Some people put too much stock on scoring. I am a huge hockey fan, while many of my friends are casual/barely know anything about it type fans. And I will tell you that to both me and my friends, the most exciting thing about hockey is the flow of the game, the pace, the hitting. I would much rather see an exciting game, in the sense that it's quick and there is a lot of action, that ends up 2-1, than see a 4-2 game with choppy play. The amount of goals scored is simply a measure of which team played better, not a measure of how good of a game it was. Some of the best games I have ever seen have been 2-1 and 3-2 games, meanwhile some of the worst have been 5-1 and 6-3 games.

It seems like some people think that the NHL needs to figure out how to change these games from 3-1 to 5-2. But, what they really need to do is change the choppy, slow, defensive 3-1 games to a 3-1 game with pace, hitting and scoring chances. That is how you make the game more exciting. And in doing that sooner or later the goals will come.

To me, there are 3 things that need to be done to get this league back on it's feet.

1. make the rinks bigger. players today are so big and so fast that it almost works against them because they all clog up the ice and there's no room out there. Add an extra couple feet on the sides of the rink and it would give players a little more room. It would give Jagr a little big of an edge over a guy like Chara. And, there's not much revenue to be lost here. So what, they lost a few rows of 20 dollar tickets, big deal. The extra tickets they would sell with this style of game would make up for the seats that would be lost.

2. take out 2 line pass. no reason for it today. again, players are so fast that having 2 line pass in there actually slows down the game. With focus on defense, and the retirement of Bure, there wouldn't be that much cherry picking going on. You cherry pick, you basically give the other team a power play. Further, if players want to hang around outside the zone and wait for the puck, and the offensive team leaves a defenseman out there with them, that's fine also because it would make it 4 on 4 in the zone and create more room. Taking out 2 line pass would help the offense both ways and allow more speed in the game.

3. contracting a couple of teams. I believe that the first 2 alone will help the product of NHL hockey enough to entertain NHL fans as well as bring in casual fans. However, if the league wants to solve its financial problems, than this is how they do it. There are too many players in this league for it's own good. When the league expanded, they allowed the higher salaries to rise rather than force the lower salaries to fall... which would have been the right move with the addition of a couple hundred players. There were more low level players, making more money, so everyone above them used them as a measuring stick, and eventually salaries rose across the board. Contracting a couple of teams would have a positive effect on the NHL economy simply through supply and demand. More lower level players fighting for a job, that lowers the price for a Jason Strudwick, which eventually lowers the price for a 3rd line players, which eventually lowers the price for a 2nd line players and so on.

If the NHL wants a better game, it needs to make the first two changes. If it wants to make the game better and help the financial situation at the same time, it needs to do all 3.

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