Was hockey better in the 80s?
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11-15-2012, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Originally Posted by
I get that but I take issue with the notion that goalies are unskilled lugs who would scarcely be able to play if they didn't have a plethora of equipment turning them from house leaguers into pros. I'm being hyperbolic of course, but so was the post I responded to (I hope).
You can still score against the trap. The DPE was trap happy but they never called obstruction. Fast teams can beat the trap and put the trapping team at a severe disadvantage. The NHL should enforce obstruction more heavily because "interference" is given way too much leeway. But blocking shots and line matching aren't going away. I don't like watching a team trap, but I also don't think teams should neglect defense in order to score. Parity in the league means every team's structure is different, so a team like the one I support won't be able to score 3-3.5 gpg in a given season because the top end offensive talent isn't there. There's also the fact that teams that are accused of sitting on the leads and winning games rarely do so when it counts, which leads me to believe some people misrepresent the current state of NHL hockey.
I guess I'm in the minority who thinks that the post season play we saw from the Kings represents some of the very best, most well rounded hockey possible. No one went all Lemiuex on everybody but they had balanced scoring through 4 lines, a star goaltender, a star defenseman, and two centers (one a star) who played at an extremely high level. They killed teams by running a very aggressive forecheck and anything that squeaked through the neutral zone was punished physically.
I agree that riding a hot goaltender into the playoffs occurs with some frequency, but the teams that make it without much offensive flair (if they do make it) all have strong defensive corps and forwards who excel on both sides of the puck. Again, you have back to back smythe winning goalies who deserved it, but the award could have went to a handful of deserving players in those runs. 2009-2010 was 2 full seasons ago. The only "boring" defensive team that did anything was the Canadiens who simply played to the strengths of their personnel. Certainly the Flyers and the Hawks exposed two 'average' goaltenders for what they were-average.
I guess my ultimate point is that while goaltending equipment size is a factor (and player equipment size in general), it should be well below obstruction not being called, shot blocking, and defensive systems on the list of things 'bogging down the game' to some people. I just can't buy that goalies aren't skilled. Doesn't compute.
I have two major issues with Goaltending today.
1. It's not exciting to watch anymore.
2. There's not much for consistency among the start goaltenders. What I mean by this is one year Steve Mason is owning the league then crapping the bed. And every year there's two or three more to add to that list. What this tells me is they're really just a product of the teams they play for more than individualistic talent. Jonathan Quick I don't believe for a second is that good of a goalie playing for my Oilers. The kings played some great hockey. So good I believe you could have hucked in 20 other NHL goalies in there and won the cup.
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