Bill Simmons "The Sports Guy" with his take on the NHL lockout
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11-20-2012, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: La Vieille Capitale
Originally Posted by
Bettman also gets a complete pass on one issue that I think really was a disaster on the league's behalf, and that was that they waited until
remove the red line offside rule
and crack down on clutching and grabbing (or atleast do something about the trap).
The game without the redline offside is not like in the 80's. There are still low scoring games and defensive hockey. Sure. But, its undoubtedly more offensive than 95'-04'. I know some still feels it should be back in play, but no matter what, the game was just waaaay too defensive, during the last years before the lockout, for its own good.
In Europe the red line offside rule was removed in
. It was the same here. The game went from being ultra defensive and trap-minded to becoming a little more entertaining. I remember Bettman commenting on the redline after the 2002 Olympics, he said something like "you know, there wasn't all that many goals scored here too without a red line offside rule", and it became so apparant that the guy in charge had extremely little knowledge of the game. The game in Europe could be extremely defensive minded before the redline was removed. The last WCH's with the redline offside rule only 1 goal was scored over 120 minutes.
With the redline, the trap is just too good. Now you still get a mix. You can do what like Philly is doing. With a redline, a team playing like Philly just wouldn't stand a chance against a decent trapping team. You can't risk things going up ice.
My point is just that the entertainment value of the league as a whole dipped tremendously with Bettman behind the wheel from 95' to 04'. Sure there were some classic PO's match ups. But overall it was a disaster. Basically all the biggest stars (with Jagr maybe being the exception) were worn out long before their due date (Lindros, Forsberg, Bure, Kariya and co). There were extremely few goals scored. There wasn't much speed on the ice. Nobody tried to do anything with the puck in their own end or in the neutral zone. And so forth.
But teams like Philly are a rarity because they can afford to not have to trap because they have a stacked team. But in this day and age, if you don't trap you get eaten alive. That is why Mark Crawford doesn't have a NHL job.
And I don't find hockey to be better now than it was between 95 and 04. Where's the heated rivalry like Avs-Wings?
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