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Old
11-03-2005, 01:45 PM
  #26
Edge
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I think you're also gonna see twp way defenseman become more valuable than ever. A guy who can move the puck, play defense and do the small things will be very valuable. Add some size (Staal) and they become very valuable, add toughness to boot (Phaneuf) and they become EXTREMELY valuable.

In today's NHL if a guy like Phaneuf ever becomes an UFA he's gonna be a bigger sort after commodity than many forwards.

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11-03-2005, 01:46 PM
  #27
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I definitely enjoy this kind of hockey. I grew up with 80s hockey and that's what got me into the sport. As much as I hated the Islanders, watching Trottier and Bossy make magic was pretty amazing. The Rangers, unfortunately, didn't have much of a roster in those days. Our best players were (at various times) guys like Tomas Sandstrom, Walt Poddubny, Brian Mullen...guys who, in the mid/late 90s would've been luck to get 30 goals but who did it or came close numerous times.

I feel like the clutch-and-grab era deprived me of winessing some amazing hockey. What kind of numbers could Selanne, Kariya, Bure, Sakic, etc put up if they weren't so stifled? What kind of highlight-reel plays could they have pulled off at top speed? Enjoy this, because for many years, we couldn't witness the great players being truly great.

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11-03-2005, 01:53 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xander
your going to get blowouts no matter what the level of offense the leauge is producing. 10-4 is practically the same as 4-0 in 04, either way the team that's down isn't coming back. You can't look at the outliers as an idication of the whole.

I agree. I went to an Ottawa-Washington game that was 11-5 a few years ago. Does that mean the old rules were "too liberal"? A few high scoring games, and everyone acts like it's terrible. No matter what the rules are, you'll have blow outs. And as previously mentioned, it's all relative. A 4 goal lead under these rules might be comparable to a 2 goal lead under the old rules. Yet somehow a 5-1 win now is worse than a 3-1 win from a few years ago.

If all you want is close games, make it really difficult to score and it'll be like soccer. Most games will be 2-1 or 1-0 and at least in theory close. Of course they won't be that cose because it will be difficult as all hell to score. But I guess a team could be on fluke away from tying. That doesn't exactly reward good play, but it will keep the score ultra close.

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11-03-2005, 01:54 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
It's pretty obvious that many of you were not around for hockey in thr 80's lol.
I remember a Ranger-Islander game in the mid to late 80s in which the final score was 0-0. It was all over the news, I distinctly remember people wondering if that had ever happened before. People didn't know whether both goalies got credit for a shutout; the response was funny. Imagine that kind of response to a 0-0 score in the 90s?

As for the topic at hand, I think Fire Sather said it best, although I will tweak it a little. You can have an exciting 2-1 game, or a boring 2-1 game in the same way you can have an exciting 10-4 game or a boring 10-4 game.

Whether you are in an era of tight defensive hockey, or high flying offensive hockey, you will have close games and blowouts.

And something else I was thinking about at the Devs-Pens game the other day. The Devils came back from a 2 goal deficit to tie it late in the 3rd. 2 years ago you would almost never see a team that was 2 goals down late in the 3rd come back to tie it.

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11-03-2005, 01:57 PM
  #30
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Well you see some top rookies coming in this year and putting up points like rookies used to do.

First line talent is usually the best of the best in the world and that talent is finally able to show that "The best" is more than just a point per game.

The problem in the NHL wasn't that players weren't as talented, it's that they were smothered. The next Yzerman or Jagr or Bure is out there, and for the first time in a decade they'll have a legit chance to show that talent and back it up with numbers that talent deserves.

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11-03-2005, 02:07 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EventHorizon
I remember a Ranger-Islander game in the mid to late 80s in which the final score was 0-0. It was all over the news, I distinctly remember people wondering if that had ever happened before. People didn't know whether both goalies got credit for a shutout; the response was funny. Imagine that kind of response to a 0-0 score in the 90s?

As for the topic at hand, I think Fire Sather said it best, although I will tweak it a little. You can have an exciting 2-1 game, or a boring 2-1 game in the same way you can have an exciting 10-4 game or a boring 10-4 game.

Whether you are in an era of tight defensive hockey, or high flying offensive hockey, you will have close games and blowouts.

And something else I was thinking about at the Devs-Pens game the other day. The Devils came back from a 2 goal deficit to tie it late in the 3rd. 2 years ago you would almost never see a team that was 2 goals down late in the 3rd come back to tie it.


I remember those days. I don't think the NHL has turned into arena football here, the points still mean something and i think you're seeing a good balance. Shutouts are rarer but not impossible again, and i feel like any game is up for grabs.

I like going to a hockey game and feeling that any minute someone might bring me out of my seat, when teams sit on a lead that doesn't happen. I want to relive the days when I was afraid to get off my couch at home because someone might score in the minute it took me to get a drink. For the first time since I was 16, I feel that way again.

And team's still have to play defense, they just have to play smarter defense. You can't just pin a guy any longer and you gotta keep the puck moving. That's a good thing in this sport.

Hockey still has a long way to go but it's exciting again and its creating a buzz. People in Carolina, Nashville, and to a lesser extent Anaheim and Florida are seeing what made the sport so appealing to fans before hand.

So long as the refs stay consistent with penalties the game will respond by growing.

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11-03-2005, 02:21 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
So long as the refs stay consistent with penalties the game will respond by growing.
This is what truly scares me. We've seen the refs start out a season calling everything. Remember when the league created the "obstruction-xxxxx" penalties? Lots of calls at first for "obstruction-holding/hooking". Then after a few weeks, the calls dropped off and the clutching-and-grabbing started creeping back in without being called - at least not consistently. Then the game was right back where it had been before the rule changes. A lot of people felt like this time the league was going to stick to making the calls and we were all disappointed. If this happens again this season, then I think a number of fans will be lost.

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11-03-2005, 02:34 PM
  #33
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So far so good and the changes in the game help as well.

I think the league is serious this time about taking steps to improve the game. They've made a lot of changes and people are enjoying them.

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11-03-2005, 02:35 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
I think you're also gonna see twp way defenseman become more valuable than ever. A guy who can move the puck, play defense and do the small things will be very valuable. Add some size (Staal) and they become very valuable, add toughness to boot (Phaneuf) and they become EXTREMELY valuable.

In today's NHL if a guy like Phaneuf ever becomes an UFA he's gonna be a bigger sort after commodity than many forwards.

Yep, I think you're dead on. Remember what a young Scott Stevens was worth all those years ago when he was with St. Louis?? Guys that have good size, can skate and hit will be worth their weight in gold. Hopefully the Rangers have got a couple of those in Staal and maybe Baranka.

I don't know if you saw the highlight last week when Rathje got skated around by two different players on two different goals in the same game. Now Rathje is hardly the slowest skating d-man out there yet because the speed of the game has picked up so much he certainly seemed slow (atleast on those two goals). So if teams are beginning to skate around d-men like him its only a matter of time before the real dinosaurs like a Hatcher and a Malik are in serious trouble.

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11-03-2005, 02:45 PM
  #35
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Well because of the style and path the NHL went down with holding and grabbing, big guys become commodities. After all when a 6'5, 230 pound man grabs you it's gonna slow you down. But now you gotta be able to use that size differently and block players.

That's where a guy like Staal can be a very valuable asset because he's mobile for his size.

I think you'll see defenseman coming in at ligher weights then we've seen in a while. I don't think you'll see guys getting bigger and bigger anymore. I think it's more lean muscle and mobility now.

I think defenseman who cant position themselves are going to be getting exposed more and more. A guy like Kevin Lowe would thrive in today's game. Players like Redden could also take their value to a whole new level.

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11-03-2005, 02:53 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
Well because of the style and path the NHL went down with holding and grabbing, big guys become commodities. After all when a 6'5, 230 pound man grabs you it's gonna slow you down. But now you gotta be able to use that size differently and block players.

That's where a guy like Staal can be a very valuable asset because he's mobile for his size.

I think you'll see defenseman coming in at ligher weights then we've seen in a while. I don't think you'll see guys getting bigger and bigger anymore. I think it's more lean muscle and mobility now.
Very true, it's not that size isn't valuable anymore, it's that a differant kind of size is valuable. What you want now is basketball type size rather than football type size, what NBA guys refer to as length. Being 6-6 is still valuable, but it's valuable because of the huge reach and stick that a 6-6 guy has, rather than the amount of weight that such a frame can carry.

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11-03-2005, 02:56 PM
  #37
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Agree completely

Positioning, quick feet and the ability to read the play well is going to mean a heck of alot more than size and weight. Another guy who just became a lot more valuable is Schnieder. I always thought his postioning and his understanding of the game were great. Haven't really seen Detriot this year but I figure he must have a big part in that great start they've had.

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11-03-2005, 02:56 PM
  #38
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I think ideally you want a hybrid now.

Guys with size who can use it and move it.

I still don't think big guys who are soft are the way to go (see Malik, Popovic, etc. etc.) but gotta have a degree of skill outside of hitting and pure mass now.

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11-03-2005, 03:01 PM
  #39
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well clearly you still need some edge (no pun intended.) Tom Poti hasn't adjusted to the new game either.

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11-03-2005, 03:04 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xander
well clearly you still need some edge (no pun intended.) Tom Poti hasn't adjusted to the new game either.
He's gonna struggle because aside from having no physical side, he has ZERO defensive sense.

He doesn't know where he wants to put, he doesn't wanna put his body in harms way and he couldn't position himself to save his life.

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11-03-2005, 04:27 PM
  #41
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I can recall watching a Rangers game vs. Islanders, I think, or another rival, in the '80s. They were losing 5-0 or 6-0, so I shut the game off, disgusted. Later I was flipping through the channels and switched by the game, only to see that it was tied. I was ticked I shut it off.

This is the sort of game I first learned to love. We're seeing something similar today. There is still a lot of stick-whacking and other play that didn't exist in the '80s, but the skill and speed is back.

People say that physical play is gone, but I don't think it is. It is just that it is a hell of a lot easier to throw a check into someone who's been held up by your defensive partner, or hooked and grabbed and slashed by three guys on his way into the zone. High speed means less chances to hit someone; you have to be more mobile and agile in order to do it.

I've seen plenty of hits, the physical game still exists. It will get more prevalent as players figure out how to time their hits and position themselves better for this type of speed game again. But it will never be as common as it was in the past few seasons, by the simple fact that it is much harder to line up big checks when teams are flying up and down the ice.

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11-03-2005, 04:47 PM
  #42
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And as a result injuries will probably go down.

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11-03-2005, 10:01 PM
  #43
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yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by london ranger
I mean we have great offensive hockey but honestly I much rather see 2-1 hockey game than 10-4 blowouts. am I the only one?
if u r talking about the trap crap game we've seen the last 10 years. That is not hockey.

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11-03-2005, 11:50 PM
  #44
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Trust me, even as a guy who grew up with 80s hockey it still was a shock to see 10-3 or 8-1 games....hell it's a shock to see 6-5 games. Really shows you how much offense has been robbed from hockey over the past decade.

It's pretty amazing how quickly things changed. It was really in the 96-97 season that things went downhill as far as offensive production went. After that, a guy scoring 100 pts meant he led the league.

I'm biased because it's really when I became a huge hockey fan but the last years of the 80s on into the first half of the 90s really seemed to be the perfect coming together of everything that hockey had to offer. If you truly want to just see the difference in scoring from then to now take a quick look at the scoring leaders for those years (via hockeydb):

88-89
89-90
90-91
91-92
92-93
93-94

It's not that everybody was scoring 140 pts or 70 goals but more importantly that those few elite players (Gretz, Lemieux, Yzerman, Hull etc.) were able to showcase their immense talent.

Rangers related, in 91-92, when they won the president's trophy the first time, they had five guys on their roster that scored 30 or more goals. In the cup winning year they had eight guys on the roster with 20 goal seasons (Matteau and Noonan had 19 and 18 total respectively). The last couple of years you'd be lucky if you had two guys on the team with that many goals.

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11-03-2005, 11:57 PM
  #45
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Just because Biron and Noronen couldn't stop a boulder, has nothing to do with the new NHL.

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11-04-2005, 12:27 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCProdigy
Trust me, even as a guy who grew up with 80s hockey it still was a shock to see 10-3 or 8-1 games....hell it's a shock to see 6-5 games. Really shows you how much offense has been robbed from hockey over the past decade.

It's pretty amazing how quickly things changed. It was really in the 96-97 season that things went downhill as far as offensive production went. After that, a guy scoring 100 pts meant he led the league.

I'm biased because it's really when I became a huge hockey fan but the last years of the 80s on into the first half of the 90s really seemed to be the perfect coming together of everything that hockey had to offer. If you truly want to just see the difference in scoring from then to now take a quick look at the scoring leaders for those years (via hockeydb):

88-89
89-90
90-91
91-92
92-93
93-94

It's not that everybody was scoring 140 pts or 70 goals but more importantly that those few elite players (Gretz, Lemieux, Yzerman, Hull etc.) were able to showcase their immense talent.

Rangers related, in 91-92, when they won the president's trophy the first time, they had five guys on their roster that scored 30 or more goals. In the cup winning year they had eight guys on the roster with 20 goal seasons (Matteau and Noonan had 19 and 18 total respectively). The last couple of years you'd be lucky if you had two guys on the team with that many goals.
That's what seems to be forgotten. The scoring we're seeing now is right on pace with what the sport once had.

Personally I thought hockey rocked during those years. You had the scoring, the fighting, everything.

Today's game is the closest its been in a while. Not quite there, but close.

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11-04-2005, 12:55 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khelvan
I can recall watching a Rangers game vs. Islanders, I think, or another rival, in the '80s. They were losing 5-0 or 6-0, so I shut the game off, disgusted. Later I was flipping through the channels and switched by the game, only to see that it was tied. I was ticked I shut it off.

This is the sort of game I first learned to love. We're seeing something similar today. There is still a lot of stick-whacking and other play that didn't exist in the '80s, but the skill and speed is back.

People say that physical play is gone, but I don't think it is. It is just that it is a hell of a lot easier to throw a check into someone who's been held up by your defensive partner, or hooked and grabbed and slashed by three guys on his way into the zone. High speed means less chances to hit someone; you have to be more mobile and agile in order to do it.

I've seen plenty of hits, the physical game still exists. It will get more prevalent as players figure out how to time their hits and position themselves better for this type of speed game again. But it will never be as common as it was in the past few seasons, by the simple fact that it is much harder to line up big checks when teams are flying up and down the ice.
That's a good comment on the physical game. It's not that it doesn't exist there's just not as much as there was. Again I think the game might naturally evolve more and more physically as the players get more and more used to the new way in which it's being played. I prefer this more offensive game though and agree with almost all of Edge's comments on it. To me after 94 it turned into teams wrestling each other up and down the ice. And it had lost its zip.


Last edited by eco's bones: 11-04-2005 at 12:57 PM. Reason: change word
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Old
11-04-2005, 03:41 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
That's what seems to be forgotten. The scoring we're seeing now is right on pace with what the sport once had.

Personally I thought hockey rocked during those years. You had the scoring, the fighting, everything.

Today's game is the closest its been in a while. Not quite there, but close.
So true and I think that if everything goes as planned and the refs/league officials stick to their promises then the league will return to the type of play seen during the late 80s to early 90s, including the physicality. Like most of those who have already posted in this thread, I believe that checking will soon catch on as players readjust their games. Flow will also be better as penalties should go down throughout this year.

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