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08-12-2012, 12:48 AM
Ziggy Stardust
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Quality of NHL Hockey in 1994-95

Since I have access to the NHL Vault, I was curious to watch some hockey from the shortened 1994-95 season. As many of you know, the league scheduled a 48-game season that started on January 20, 1995. The regular season came to an end on May 3rd, with the playoffs concluding on June 24.

So the game I decided to watch was from an early part of the season with the Kings visiting the Oilers on February 25, 1995. At that time, I was 13. Watching the game now as a mature adult, I have to say, the quality of hockey was very bad.

The months of no hockey and a shortened training camp led to many injuries and slow starts for many players, and this game was reflective of that. To my surprise, Kent Nilsson was playing for the Oilers (didn't realize he made a short lived attempt at a comeback at 38).

And my oh my how the mighty had fallen. Gretzky was starting to age as he was already in his mid 30s by then. The Kings were two seasons removed from their Cup Finals appearance in '93 and this team was just bad, on paper and on the ice. The Oilers weren't much better as well.

There really wasn't much parity in the NHL at this time. Only 13 clubs finished with a record that was above .500 with the other half of the league finishing below a .500 winning percentage. Should also add that the amount of clutching and grabbing going on made it really tough to sit through a game. It killed all momentum and speed as there wasn't much offensive flow or creativity going on in hockey during this time period. I think the lockout and the subsequent shortened season was the precursor to the dead puck era.

Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 08-12-2012 at 12:54 AM.
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