I hope Bettman is watching the WJC
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12-26-2003, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Originally Posted by
It always amazes me that Hockey is the only major sport where fans want to change the dimension of the playing surface. In the NFL, players are getting bigger (same percentage increase as the NHL) in terms of size, ie. basically every OL man is over 300lbs, yet there is no mandate from fans to increase the size of the field. NFL doesn't look to at the CFL and say, wow, look at all that open space to make the game more wide open. The reason is a change in how coaches want to generate their offense. Today coaches have adopted a Passing Offense as opposed to a Running Offense.
In basketball, no one is clamming for the court to be wider. It could be, thereby giving the shooter more room at the baseline to shoot a 3.
In baseball, each ballpark is configured differently. And yes, most teams have created hitter friendly ballparks to play in, but the drawback for the teams that have done that is a lack of onfield success. A home run park kills the confidence of a pitching staff, which is the backbone of any championship team.
Personally, I wouldn't mind the NHL going into larger arena, but would like to see it tested somewhere. Probably asking for too much to have the AHL do it, but it could be possible just to see what the effect would be. But, I do think the rink size is good enough for the players to be entertaining, if only the COACHES would let them be. I mean, Scott Niedermayer is a great Dman, but if he was ever given the green light to jump into the play, he would be considered for the Norris like Lidstrom. But, Lemaire and company have always held him back. One side, is that he's way better defensively than what even Niedermayer probably thought be would ever be, but that defenisve skill has cost him big offensive numbers.
I've said for a while now, Coaches define winning as "Allowing fewer goals than the opponent" as opposed to "Outscoring the opponent". That change in philosophy is what has taken some of the excitement out of the game, in terms of flow and great scoring chances, more so than the size of the player and the ice surface.
I never said I want the ice surface size to change. I don't. My post was in response to this comment: "i wish people would accept the game for what it is and be happy with it."
I'd like to see other things tried like wider blue lines to increase the space in both the neutral zone and the offensive zones. Maybe eliminate the red line. I'd talk about officiating and obstruction, but there's no point. The NHL never sticks to its guns on that.
Basically, the game is broken and the NHL has to work up a little guts and try a few things. The (paying) fans deserve it.
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