Sunday, September 18, 2005

Back in action

Dallas rookie Vojtech Polak (he's a czech) was the best player and scored the shootout winner in a 6-5 barnburner against the Oil last night at Rexall Place. Across the league we're seeing the effect of the new rules enforcement, with a bunch of retro 80s high scores over the weekend, including tonight's game, which is probably the first time anyone's said a "barnburner with Dallas" in a long time, if ever. The team was slow in the first, giving up 2 goals within a minute or so. Apparently Torres, Pisani, Hemsky and MA Pouliot played well and Conklin, Rita and some rusty vets played poorly.

The good news is that the Oilers lowered their penalty count with only 7 penalties, a few of them part of the crackdown on obstruction. Teams are averaging 19 penalties a game, which is about double than normal. I did manage to catch the Leafs/Sens preseason tilt and noticed a couple of things about the new rules:

1) With all this talk about bringing back little, skilled guys, it 's almost impossible to move a big guy from the front of the net, where a player can do the most damage. Typically, rapid-fire crosschecks to the back do the trick, but now a defenceman has to play the angles, like in basketball. As always, there's gonna be a premium on big guys that can skate and play the puck.
2) Chasing a loose puck might be interesting again. For years, even if a player had a jump on a loose puck for a breakwaway, the defenceman would slash and hook to make up the difference.
3) The delay of game rule for players shooting the puck over the glass is kinda dumb. Was this ever a problem? How many players shoot pucks into the stands on purpose? I wonder what fans will think of this rule when it will have to be called in OT in next year's playoffs.


11 comments:

Chris! said...

Yeah, I was listening to the game on CHED last night, and holy hell was that Polak kid flying. But, of course, lots of young players excel in the preseason and then aren't heard from again for a least another few years, so it'll be interesting to see what Dallas deicdes to do.

Obviously, I didn't see them actually playing, but from the way Rod Philips was sputtering and hollering, it sounded like Hemsky has returned from Europe a far more skilled and patient player. Props to Pisani on his three-point night as well; who knew he would turn out to be even half as decent as he is today?

And I wouldn't worry about the number of penalties too much; I'm sure that they'll get back down to normal levels once the players figure out how they're supposed to play defence without ever touching one another. And yeah, what is with that delay of game penalty for shooting a puck over the glass? I haven't seen a player intentionally do that to kill a play since Midget. It'll never come up.

Chris! said...

Yeah, I was listening to the game on CHED last night, and holy hell was that Polak kid flying. But, of course, lots of young players excel in the preseason and then aren't heard from again for a least another few years, so it'll be interesting to see what Dallas deicdes to do.

Obviously, I didn't see them actually playing, but from the way Rod Philips was sputtering and hollering, it sounded like Hemsky has returned from Europe a far more skilled and patient player. Props to Pisani on his three-point night as well; who knew he would turn out to be even half as decent as he is today?

And I wouldn't worry about the number of penalties too much; I'm sure that they'll get back down to normal levels once the players figure out how they're supposed to play defence without ever touching one another. And yeah, what is with that delay of game penalty for shooting a puck over the glass? I haven't seen a player intentionally do that to kill a play since Midget. It'll never come up.

sacamano said...

This is exactly why I think Big Georges has the potential to have a big year. Who, on earth, is going to be able to prevent him from getting to the front of the net if he decides he wants to get there?

Anonymous said...

i don't think the delay of game rule is dumb at all. where do you get off?

mike w said...

Listen anonymous,
Why don't you buzz off? >:0

mike w said...

Listen anonymous,
Why don't you buzz off? >:0

Anonymous said...

hey moron, who asked you?

Anonymous said...

Who's the most awesome guy in town? Anonymous, that's who. Never change, man. Never change.

mike w said...

Back to the big men up front. Does this mean we'll see a lot of George Laraque on the powerplay? I haven't heard much about his play so far, which is odd because he's usually first on everyone's "must trade" list...

Anonymous Rocks!!! said...

Well, you know Genius Bobby Clarke's old standby of aquiring yet another big, dumb, slow winger for the annual dissapointing playoff run...I think it's over. Oh, Bobby might do it, but that's Bobby, and Georges, with his loping turn in from the corner, seems to be a thing of the past.
Granted, we haven't landed on Mars here, but when the new rules shake out, Laraque is a liability, not an asset.
Also, Chris, if there's anything Hemsky needs, it's not more patience.

--RY in the MH

Problem Child said...

Right on cue, Joanne Ireland comes up with a feature of Georges' new attitude.
Apparently, he was doing an agility test with his summer trainer, but lost his balance and, literally, smashed through a wall.
((I think it must have looked something like an old Kool-Aid commercial--Oh Yeah!!))
Anyway, the gist of the piece is that Laraque looks better and hungrier than previous camps.

Oh, Yeah!!

Randy