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Difference of Game-Play in 1975 and Now

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07-12-2013, 02:48 AM
  #1
Kane One
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Difference of Game-Play in 1975 and Now

Let me start off by saying I'm 21 years old.

I always hear/read people talk about how the players now are stronger, faster, and shoot harder. I'm watching the 1975 SCF right now and that doesn't really seem to be the case. The only difference is that players look stronger, but that really looks like it in the whole athleticism part. The most similar thing between then and now, which is what everyone I've ever heard say the opposite is the speed. They don't look slower at all.

The real only difference in game-play is that the defense seems to be much better. Also, there was just a ridiculous amount of stoppages of play.

Am I way off base? To be fair, I'm only writing this after really paying attention closely to one old game, but even if I'm probably wrong, I'd at least want to learn something.

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07-12-2013, 04:19 AM
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BrimStone64
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Game is faster now, better coached, more financial, teams play more of a system. Old time hockey had more character...Bobby Orr, Rocket, Danny Gallivan, great arenas like Chicago Stadium, no-helmets, etc...

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07-12-2013, 04:26 AM
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brianscot
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Regarding speed, in my head (and this might only be in my head) is that once upon a time the exceptional speed skaters really stood out --- Gene Carr, Cournoyer, Hull, Lafleur, Orr, etc.

The differential today doesn't seem to be as great between the exceptional skaters and the pack.

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07-12-2013, 05:31 AM
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JuniorNelson
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A lot of the actual difference is the equipment. Lots of players in those days were good athletes. Lots were in good condition by the playoffs, lol! Bernie Parent has about sixty pounds of gear on and the rest of the flyers are wearing almost none at all. Shoulder pads in those days were two little pads about the size of a hamburger bun.

The most major difference is the sticks. Anybody can shoot the puck a hundred miles an hour, now. In those days it was rare. A few guys had big shots. Teams didn't look for defensemen that could boom it, then.

I hope when you watch these 1975 games you will consider that Gretzky was fourteen, only three years away from his pro debut in Indianapolis. How would a lithe kid like that survive in the milieu you are seeing? Watch how Clarke is treated.

Spinner Spencer played for the Sabres in those days. Interesting story.


Last edited by JuniorNelson: 07-12-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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07-12-2013, 07:02 AM
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Crease
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The game is faster today. Part of the reason is because as a whole players have been better educated on skating technique. Another part of the reason is technology: lighter, dryer equipment. Better skates. Skate sharpenings between periods. Better quality ice.

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07-12-2013, 07:39 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Speed, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
The game is faster today. Part of the reason is because as a whole players have been better educated on skating technique. Another part of the reason is technology: lighter, dryer equipment. Better skates. Skate sharpenings between periods. Better quality ice.
Perceived speed is a function of shift length. Short shift game today is roughly 40-50% of the shift length of 1975. No different than track short distance speed vs long distance.

Skate sharpening between, during periods goes back easily to pre WWII days. Evidenced in footage of NHL games from the thirties.

Actual difference in speed as evidenced by lap times of an NHL rink, marginal difference from 1920s to date. Function of the actual circuit, context - with or without puck, is the player allowed the favourable turn or does he have to do the drill using both turns - once clockwise, once counter-clockwise. Weight of the equipment the player has to wear, etc.

A number of the NHL players today are very poor skaters even with access to modern skating techniques - Adam MacQuaid, Hal Gill, are the most obvious examples. Linear skating is one thing, lateral, angled, arcs, etc are another. Players are often deficient in these skills. Prime example being Bobby Orr. Techniques, equipment, technology may have all improved but they have not converged to produce an NHL skater that can dance on skates like Orr could.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 07-12-2013 at 08:09 AM.
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07-12-2013, 07:56 AM
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Peter Stastny (you know, the second most productive guy in 80s) said a few years ago something like this - When i watch the videos from my time, sometime i have to laugh, how we played. Today are the players in much better form, as it was.

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07-12-2013, 08:16 AM
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Crease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Perceived speed is a function of shift length. Short shift game today is roughly 40-50% of the shift length of 1975. No different than track short distance speed vs long distance.

Skate sharpening between, during periods goes back easily to pre WWII days. Evidenced in footage of NHL games from the thirties.

Actual difference in speed as evidenced by lap times of an NHL rink, marginal difference from 1920s to date. Function of the actual circuit, context - with or without puck, is the player allowed the favourable turn or does he have to do the drill using both turns - once clockwise, once counter-clockwise. Weight of the equipment the player has to wear, etc.

A number of the NHL players today are very poor skaters even with access to modern skating techniques - Adam MacQuaid, Hal Gill, are the most obvious examples. Linear skating is one thing, lateral, angled, arcs, etc are another. Players are often deficient in these skills. Prime example being Bobby Orr. Techniques, equipment, technology may have all improved but they have not converged to produce an NHL skater that can dance on skates like Orr could.
I have spoken to guys who played in the NHL in the 70s and they say intragame skate sharpening was not the norm.

Also, citing extreme examples like MacQuaid, Gill and Orr does not invalidate the fact that players, as a whole, are generally faster today and that the game is played at a quicker pace. You do make a good point about shift times though. That definitely plays a part to it.

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07-12-2013, 09:02 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Speed, etc.II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
I have spoken to guys who played in the NHL in the 70s and they say intragame skate sharpening was not the norm.

Also, citing extreme examples like MacQuaid, Gill and Orr does not invalidate the fact that players, as a whole, are generally faster today and that the game is played at a quicker pace. You do make a good point about shift times though. That definitely plays a part to it.
Playing juvenile hockey in the mid sixties in Montreal we had access to in game skate sharpening at all the arenas. As did MMJHL teams at various arenas and all the NHL/OHA or other teams playing at the old Forum.

Generally faster is not the same as better skaters, certainly they are not in better control on their skates, evidenced by the number of players including stars like P.K. Subban who miss checks and recklessly slam into the boards.

As for the quicker pace that is very iffy. Rather recent phenomena on the PP where the pace is reduced to a near stop more cancels the short extra bursts.


You may see a slightly higher pace at times since the management of a short shift is different than a longer shift but you will rarely see sustained high pace over the full game like you saw in the 1975 Red Army vs Canadiens game, various SC finals in the seventies.

Another factor is televised games. Clocks run at the same pace today as they did in the O6 era. Yet a televised O6 game would run 135 - 150 minutes, today games run 165 - 180 games. Same amount of time for resurfacing the ice, same 60 minutes of game time so that leaves modern players with a big edge in recovery time during the game.

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07-12-2013, 11:23 AM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Perceived speed is a function of shift length. Short shift game today is roughly 40-50% of the shift length of 1975. No different than track short distance speed vs long distance.
Yes, I was just about to say the same until I read your post, the introduction of the short-shift by Shero, not that he invented it, had been used in the past, but that greatly changed the ebb & flow, pace of the players, game in general. No longer a 440, 200M race, shortened the track to 100M's, in some cases 50M's. Everyone sprinting. Different approach shift-shift. Full-on and from amateur on up with various exceptions, the more creative types who free-skated, played shinny, hockey for the joy of it, those who's entire experience was through the regimentation of system, straight skaters. In one direction. Not a lot of mobility in turning on a dime, hairpins, transitioning to skating backwards, many actually incapable of doing so proficiently, never mind todays Butterfly Goaltenders who in many many cases are beyond weak on their blades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Playing juvenile hockey in the mid sixties in Montreal we had access to in game skate sharpening at all the arenas. As did MMJHL teams at various arenas and all the NHL/OHA or other teams playing at the old Forum.
We did as well in Southern Ontario at the elite amateur & Junior levels, but it was inconsistent unless your club had a portable skate sharpening machine. The arena's had one tech guy, multiple games booked solid so getting ones skates sharpened even before the game started... well, better you should have done that earlier in the day or elsewhere. At the Junior level, ya, the players, not all of them, generally just the Centres & Wingers, the odd rushing Defenceman, they'd get pretty fussy about their edges as ice surfacing & quality would vary greatly from rink-rink. Some places fast, others medium-fast, some downright slow & deliberately so as clubs would manipulate that if for example they didnt have a fast, talented team. Tilted the ice surface so to speak in their home buildings. Fast skater, guy sure doesnt want a sharp edge playing in those kinds of conditions. Now, most rink Convenors & the ice-makers, groomers, they've got their pride & want to create the fastest or best surface possible however, it simply wasnt & isnt possible to have that kind of consistency outside of NHL buildings, and even at that, with the old and now gone older arenas', all kinds of inconsistencies including actual rink dimensions. Skate sharpening as a Goalie, forget it. I got my skates sharpened twice a year. Start of the season, mid-season, maybe before playoffs, then ran the blades back & forth over the dasher boards to dull them down. You needed that lateral movement, ability to slide, but with just enough edge to sprint out to the puck or play it outside of the crease, whereas todays Butterfly types, they need a sharper edge to plant their blades in order to get leverage on the inverted 'V' in a half crouch.

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