Thursday, March 22, 2007

What would YOU do, Part 2: New Rules

Today I did something horrible: I spent a few hours on HF Boards arguing about Ryan Smyth with Oilers lemmings. I know, I know. It's lame.

But something in my brain snaps when I see phrases like "playing in Edmonton was no longer his top priority, live with it" or "let's remember one thing: the Oilers were a ninth place team with Smyth in the lineup." Most laughable of all were the fans that think Smyth is worth no more than $4 million a year, even when the dude is scoring on a very elite point-per-game pace this season.


Much like a teenager playing Dungeons & Dragons, fighting towards the light of day, slaying orcs left and right, after a few hours the only thing that emerged was me, with no real sense of accomplishment, feeling a lot dorkier.

Anyway, apropos of nothing, I'd like to do something similar to a previous post of mine in which I fantasized about going back to 2006, flaying Kevin Lowe, wearing his skin and acting as GM for a year. This time it's simple: what if I ran the league when they made rule changes after the lockout. For my taste, there's been way too many cooks in the kitchen, and I think the game could be organized in a much simpler way.

1. Keep the obstruction rules, but instruct the refs to call penalties only if they see them. Hooking and one-armed holding is often merely incidental proboscis contact, but often gets a penalty from backend refs that are instructed to call as much as they can. I really like the rule that only allows the defenceman a small window to hit a guy at the blueline when he dumps the puck, and I also like the no tolerance on cross-checking, but there have been too many non-calls in the last two season. It weakens the integrity of the game.

2. Drop the goalie trapezoid. It's a pointless waste of paint on the ice. Goalies being able to play the puck was low on the "reasons for low-scoring" totem pole (actually, having just written that phrase, I'd be amused to see such a Pacific Northwest monument).

3. Drop the delay of game for throwing the puck over the glass. Same as above, I never saw this as a big problem before the lockout, and when it does happen it's usually not intentional. Do we really want to see another one of these penalties called in a playoff game during OT?

4. Keep the no shift change after an icing rule. A great rule.

5. Ban fighting Indeed, I stand up and cheer when it happens, but it's not why I go to games. It's a distraction that will end up with someone dead on the ice one day. The NHL should join all of the other leagues in the world and put an end to fighting.

6. Drop the shootout, add 5 minutes to OT. It would take just as long as a shootout does, and would allow us to have less ties and go back to 2 and 1 point games. Too much of hockey is cheering against regulation ties, late in the season.

7. Here's another big one: make the net 3-6 inches bigger on each side. The simplest solution. The biggest change from the 1980s is that the goalies got bigger and have to cover smaller angles, which means less athleticism in making big saves. It used to be one of the more exciting positions in hockey: now, for the most part, it's just an interchangeable part on a team that goes to whoever can maintain a .900 - .910 SVP. Combined with a looser interpretation of hooking and holding penalties, I think this rule change would make the game just right. The bottom line is that I want to see less powerplays and more chances at even strength.

And lastly, this is for journalists, the NHL and TV broadcasters: make stats a bigger part of the game. We see little stabs in the right direction, with TSN, Ken Campbell in the Hockey News, and the post-CBA reinstatement of some basic stat categories, but I want to see more even though I'm not a stat nut. Hockey isn't baseball, but commentators should have a basic grasp of even-strength scoring, ATOI, and quality of opposition.

73 comments:

Dave said...

as a goalie. screw the bigger net thing. go to unlimited stick curve.

mike w said...

Didn't the NHL already relax curve standards?

McLea said...

2. Drop the goalie trapezoid. It's a pointless waste of paint on the ice. Goalies being able to play the puck was low on the "reasons for low-scoring"

Are you serious? Forechecks are a thousand times more effective now that goalies can't go out and chase down any puck flipped into the zone.

I'd prefer watching good strong forechecking and increased offensive end opportunities, over Martin Brodeur handling the puck behind the goal line.

Drop the delay of game for throwing the puck over the glass. Same as above, I never saw this as a big problem before the lockout

This is a great rule because it actually forces the defensemen to make play, rather than allowing him to flip the puck over the glass when he gets in trouble (which is tantamount to the basketball player calling a timeout when he's stuck in the corner).

Here's another big one: make the net 3-6 inches bigger on each side. The simplest solution.

So you're against all these small, yet effective changes that when taken in aggregate unquestionable tilt the game in the favour of offensive over defensive, yet you're all for expanding the size of the nets, the crudest most unimaginative way to increase offensive? And presumably you're somebody who knows something about the game.

Colour me confused.

Par said...

This is a great rule because it actually forces the defensemen to make play, rather than allowing him to flip the puck over the glass when he gets in trouble.

Yeah, I can't count the number of times before the lockout that I yelled at the TV "That should be an automatic 2-minute penalty!"

To me, the logic against dumping the puck over the glass is the same as that against icing, so why not make the penalties the same: faceoff in the defensive zone and no line change. Seems that would accomplish the same goal without needlessly over-penalizing, or even deciding a close game on an accidental puck play.

Chris! said...

The thing I love about McLea is that he just never simply disagree; he has to disagree like a total asshole.

Seriously, who the fuck says "Colour me confused"?

Black Dog said...

Agree with par on the over the glass situation - dzone faceoff - no change for the offenders. Its too grey an area to penalize a team (a la Buffalo G7 in the ECF last season).

Not a fan of the bigger nets idea - I think there's a good flow to the game right now, scoring chances are there - that's the important thing to me - a 2-1 game with a good pace is as exciting as a 4-3 or 6-5 game, in my eyes.

And lads, the language and vitriol?

Paint me perturbed.

mike w said...

Even in a post about what I want, McLea tells me I'm wrong.

Ah, but I wither under his analytical slice-n-dice. Who can argue with such rigorous statistical evidence like: "Forechecks are a thousand times more effective now..."

If you want to troll, the HF boards are just a click away, my friend.

mike w said...

Hey, Columbus tonight: WHOOOOO!!!

Scott H said...

As the Commish, the NHL one not the fat one from late Saturday night TV, I'd:

1. Drop the instigator rule - fighting integral to the game and you wouldn't see guys use the stick as much.

2. Drop the goalie trapezoid

3. Keep the obstruction rules, keep the delay of game for shooting it over the glass, keep the no shift change on icing, keep the shootout for regular season games.

4. Leave the nets alone. Keep vigilent on goaltenders to make sure the're not wearing two tonnes of equipment, but there's just some things you can't change. The size of the puck and the size of the net are two of them.

5. Go to no touch icing. How many guys have to snap their ankles before they do this?

Pete said...

I'm in for numbers one through six. But making the nets bigger is just like, sledghammer wit. It lacks poetry. It seems odd to me that someone with even a passing interest in stats would advocate for as drastic a change as that

mike w said...

5. Go to no touch icing. How many guys have to snap their ankles before they do this?

Yeah, I like that, too.

McLea said...

Ah, but I wither under his analytical slice-n-dice. Who can argue with such rigorous statistical evidence like: "Forechecks are a thousand times more effective now..."

Oh, because your post was just littered with statistical analysis...

I mean come on, the highlight of you post was "making the goals bigger would increase scoring" and you're fucking patronizing me?

And how about "Keep the obstruction rules, but instruct the refs to call penalties only if they see them." That was a fucking gem. What the hell does that even mean? Ref should stop calling things they don't see? That was so supposed to be insightful?

You're starting to sound like Grabia.

McLea said...

Oh, and forechecks aren't more effective now that there's a trapezoid? Please elaborate.

mike w said...

It seems odd to me that someone with even a passing interest in stats would advocate for as drastic a change as that

It's no less dramatic than extra points for OT or an 82 game season, as far as stats go.

But I see your point. I guess it stems for my desire to make the goaltending position a little more exciting, like I remember it in the 1980s. Admittedly, it's a little out there, but it's not whacko, with curved posts or anything. MAN, was that dumb.

I'm not entirely convinced that obstruction can be upheld effectively, since so far it's resulted in a lot of non-calls.

Every year it seems like the NHL asks a little more from its refs, which strikes me as getting away from simplicity.

Anyway, the good news for you is that it's not going to happen.

mike w said...

McLea, you are on the wrong blog.

McLea said...

McLea, you are on the wrong blog.

I wouldn't want to defend that post either. You should probably just delete it.

mike w said...

No, it's okay. I think everything in this thread speaks for itself.

McLea said...

But what if doesn't Mike? What if it doesn't...

Pleasure Motors said...

MIKE YOU ARE SO FUCKING WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING I AM ASHAMED TO BE ON THIS BLOG WITH YOU!!! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN NO TRAPEZOID?!?!?!?!!!!!! THAT IS LIKE SAYING HITLER WAS RIGHT!!!!! A THOUSAND TIMES!!!! PROVE ME WRONG ASSHOLE SHIT MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!

Darien said...

Oh PM, you are too much. heehee

Sean said...

Mike, I love your writing, but other than your first suggestion, I have to say a big NO to everything else you've suggested. I'll reply bigger if you call me out on it, but this is as much as I have in me now - You are wrong.

mike w said...

You are wrong.

Nooooooo!!!

It's cool, Sean. Feel free to respond if you have the time. My ideas are known to be wacky (I won't even wade into my complete nutjob plan for Senate reform).

Chris! said...

Jeez, Mike, don't you know the onus is on you to defend your opinions to every random indigant blog-commenting asshole who demands it? Hop to it! PROVE MCLEA WRONG.

sacamano said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Why do you even bother posting, fool?

The only one who can save the league is Radek Dvorak. Put him in charge and you will see some results.

Alana said...

"Why do you even bother posting, fool?"

I don't know why, but this made me laugh really hard.

sacamano said...

Is it more or less funny if you picture it being said by a skinny white dude with the voice of Mr.T?

sacamano said...

I think we should keep the net the same Msize, but we should change the shape of it -- every single game. That way the goalie would never know what was coming. Would the net be trapazoid, in which case he'd better have some quick legs, upside-down trapazoid (quick hands), square middle but with four oblong extensions (quick something). Seriously, now that would be exciting.

You could even make it part of a fan contest: every game some lucky fan gets to design the net shape for the opposing goaltender.

See, this is the kind of stuff that Radek Dvorak inspires.

McLea said...

Look, you don't have to defend anything. But if you're going to be the first person on the planet to suggest that the Trapezoid is a "waste of paint", and then take a run at me with this:

"Ah, but I wither under his analytical slice-n-dice. Who can argue with such rigorous statistical evidence like: "Forechecks are a thousand times more effective now..."

then the very least you could do is defend what you said. But of course you won't, because you can't. You're no different than Grabia. You say something ludicrous, I respond with what everyone is thinking but is too polite to bring up, and then you cop-out with "go to HF boards" or something equally lame.

And I'd like to point the total hyprocrisy of the entire Oiler blogosphere. You guys love to bitch and moan about how the MSN has no accountability for what they throw out there. But the truth is, you guys have no more interest in being accountable then they do. These blogs are nothing more than vanity projects, forums where the authors get to share their ideas for the purpose of receiving adulation from their readers. Just look at Grabia. Look at me! Read what I think! Praise my intellect!

But the second someone calls you on some asinine post you make it's a different story. You want the good, but you can't be bothered with the bad. You want to share your thoughts with the world so can be told how fucking smart and great you are, but God forbid somebody point out that your logic is faulty, or that your idea is ludicrous. Go away McLea, you're ruining the party. Either pat me on the back or get lost. I don't have to defend anything because my posts are designed to be praised, not criticized. And so, and so on.

I mean if that's what you want, a big fucking groupthink circle jerk, where people come to nod their heads in agreement and tell eachother how fucking great they are, then so be it. I'll piss off, and let you guys pleasure eachother to your hearts content. But I'd like to think that my existence here, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, plays important role. I'm the asshole who is going to show up and call you out when you something stupid, so I'm also the asshole who makes you think a little before you post something on the web. I might be belligerent and abrasive, but I force you fucks to think about what you're writing and defend what you say.

Julian said...


And I'd like to point the total hyprocrisy of the entire Oiler blogosphere. You guys love to bitch and moan about how the MSN has no accountability for what they throw out there.



surely you can see the difference between a post about suggestions for rule changes and a post about how the Journal doesn't seem to care to delve too deeply into the Oilers finances for some odd reason.

Nobody's complaing about the media's lack of responsibility when it comes to thinks like musing on rule changes, it's the big stuff like conflicts of interest on multimillion dollar issues like payroll and arenas that bother people here.

Alana said...

I wish they would change the rules so the zamboni stays out cleaning the ice while the game is played. Blindfolds would also be a nice touch.

LittleFury said...

Somebody give McLea a fucking hug and a tissue already.

These blogs are nothing more than vanity projects, forums where the authors get to share their ideas for the purpose of receiving adulation from their readers.

Strange that such meaningless wankfests get so much attention from you, mclea.

As far as self-importance goes, it's tough to top this:

I'd like to think that my existence here, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, plays important role. I'm the asshole who is going to show up and call you out when you something stupid, so I'm also the asshole who makes you think a little before you post something on the web.

You the man now, dawg.

Vic Ferrari said...

mclea:

Wow, that's some anger. I'll admit I kind of skim through the comments on the blogs, but how did this whole rivalry with Grabia start anyways? Do you guys know ech other personally or something? It's pretty damn bitchy at this point anyways, kind of entertaining though.

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with you on the goalie trapezoid. That is a good rule. Stops players like Marty F-in Turco from continuously handling the puck in the corner. Opens up more dump and chase ... you don't always have to carry over the blue line which can be easily stopped by lining up 3-4 players accross the blue line.

Vic Ferrari said...

Ya, the trapezoid rule seems pointless until you see a game with Turco, Brodeur or DiPietro playing. They act as a third defenseman enough as it is, at least the trapezoid curbs that a bit.

LittleFury said...

The trapazoid is just a silly half measure. I like what it does, but why not just not allow goalies to play the puck behind the goal line. And while we're at it, let's stop this nonsense of goalies dropping to their kness to stop shots. Bring back the stand-up goalie rule!!

DeltaMike said...

"These blogs are nothing more than vanity projects, forums where the authors get to share their ideas for the purpose of receiving adulation from their readers."

Dude, what? Is someone trying to pass this off as serious journalism? This is to the sports journalism what the Daily Show is the CNN.

Just pop a couple valium and enjoy the humour.

Vic Ferrari said...

On the "quality of opposition" thing. I don't think that's so much a matter of stats as it is announcers who notice these things, and feel that the audience is interested enough to talk about them.

I remember in game 4 against San Jose in the playoffs (the 6-3 game with Samsonov scoring that wacky goal just as he stepped out of the penalty box) How the hell does anyone not notice that Horcoff/Smyth have the Thornton gig that night? Joe played 16 shifts at evens that night, 14 were against Smyth (one other was vs Rem's line and the 3rd D pair, following an icing). Looks like there was one other brief shift after an Oilers PP, but I don't remember it.

And they didn't go all Nashville on Joe and take 17 penalties against him, the opposite in fact, those shifts resulted in Oiler PPs 3 times by the results. Smyth played 12.2 5v5 minutes vs Thornton (tied with Pronger for the most in this one) ... yet Peca gets the credit for "shutting him down". Yeesh, it's so simple, the game doesn't have to be such a mystery. Sorry for the rant ... it's a pet peeve of mine, this is :)

Now last night on Long Island, Sillinger's line gets the Crosby gig and Smyth's line gets the shift after. Smyth is also getting the first PK shift and then the first after the Isles PK ends, more often than not out there. It's sweetheart icetime, #94 would put up ridiculous point totals if he was played that way all season.

In fairness to some of the guys on US broadcasts, they do pick this stuff up. Denis Potvin in FLA mentions it, and he's right that Weiss-Horton was going against Smyth's line, and according to him that's not the norm.

A guy on the NYI broadcasts pointed out that Sillinger was going H2H with Crosby and we should expect it all game, just like in previous meetings.

Some of the US broadcasts also show scoring chances on their period stats pages. And in a couple of cases it isn't just a tally of the five bell chances, these are reasonable numbers IMO.

So there are steps in that direction. And guys like Pat Quinn would often bring up 5on5 scoring chances and the like, and during his time there I saw some stuff from the TO print media that echoed that, and brought 5on5 + and - into discussions about a player. Hopefully it carries on in that direction.

I think Ron Wilson has really made a concerted effort to educate the print media on some simple things, granted not usually in a nice way. And he is widely despised for it. Is it Barnes or Spector who coined the nickname "The Man Who Invented Hockey"? :D ..... it's funny in any case.

Chris! said...

Well, colour McLea crazy.

Nice diatribe. Have you ever considered doing something positive with your life instead of twisting yourself in knots over the things you hate?

Black Dog said...

Holy smokes - guy goes away for a few hours and all hell breaks loose.

I like Alana's and sacamano's ideas myself.

D. said...

Ha ha, Alana's rule rules.

Anonymous said...

Yeesh McLea, lighten up! Don't you read Deadspin, posts are for wisecracks and shit. Not your pretentious janitor juice. Although I do admit I enjoy picturing that fancy-boy picture next to your name spouting the drivel.

Haw Haw,

Craig

SquidRx said...

I'm decidedly undecided on some of your suggestions, but I do have some commentary on a few. I think fighting has to stay. In hearing comments from former UofA Golden Bears head coach Rob Daum and someother CIS aficionados, the ban on fighting is directly responsible for the increased number of stick infractions seen at that level. I like the shootout. You're probably right about it's affect on the game, but damn it can be sweet to watch. Lastly, I think instead of increasing the net size, we need to continue to whittle away at the size of goaltender equipment. True some of the goalies are physically bigger, but for the most part they take up more of the net due to larger equipment. Let's put them back in the horsehair stuffed leather pads that weigh 4000 lbs. and see how they do! Most importantly though, only rule changes that will help the Oil win should be considered. Please "make {them} better. Turn up the good and turn down the suck."

Good night now!

Pleasure Motors said...

Mclea,

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason people tell you to piss of is because of the way you say things, not so much what you're saying? To use a pertinent example, I disagreed, rather vehemently, with Lowetide not five days ago, so much so I felt compelled to do a post on my own blog rather than leave a comment, and to this point, neither one of us has told the other to take a swan dive off the High Level. Perhaps we are both just eminently reasonable, understanding men, but I like to think that a large part of has to do with the fact that when I stated my objection, I did so in a fairly sedate, reasoned manner, as opposed to calling him a fuckwit and telling him to eat my ass until I got pregnant. As did all the people in the comments to that post who disagreed with me, I might add, none of whom I told to go to the HF boards.

I don't know, colour me crazy here, but in all honesty, which conversation would you want to continue:

Person A: "I think Kevin Smith is the greatest director of all time."
Person B: "Really, I find him kind of juvenile."

or

A: "Say what you will, I think Martin Scorcese is the world's greatest living filmmaker."
B: "What the fuck is wrong with you? Have you never even fucking seen Magnolia? Scorcese couldn't direct shit into a toilet bowl."

The point I'm trying to get at here, pal, is that there's a difference between disagreeing with someone and immediately questioning their intelligence/value as a human being. Try taking apart someone's points without taking apart their character, and maybe we'll be more welcoming the next time you want to join the circle jerk.

LittleFury said...

I've never bought the correlation between fighting and stick infractions. Quite simply, fighting isn't much of a deterrent in this day and age of designated goons. Nine times out of 10, its kabuki, so most players don't ever have to worry about dropping the flippers. (By the way, I finds fighting's defenders tend to contradict themselves. On the one hand, they will claim fighting is a deterrent, which implies an element of pain or danger to those involved. Yet they are often quick to dismiss the concerns about safety. To me, the two are mutually exclusive.)

As for the CIS stick thing, the upswing in stick incidents is probably tied to the perception of safety brought on by the protective gear: in the CIS, face shields are mandatory, so a guy will probably be less worried about getting his stick up on some guy thinking "Oh, well, he's got a visor." Correlation /= causation.

Regardless, the obvious solution is to increase the penalties for stick infractions, not continue to perpetuate a pointless spectacle that simply reinforces hockey's image as the WWE on ice.

LittleFury said...

. Try taking apart someone's points without taking apart their character, and maybe we'll be more welcoming the next time you want to join the circle jerk.


I refuse to join any circle jerk that would have me as a member.

mc79hockey said...

But I'd like to think that my existence here, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, plays important role. I'm the asshole who is going to show up and call you out when you something stupid, so I'm also the asshole who makes you think a little before you post something on the web. I might be belligerent and abrasive, but I force you fucks to think about what you're writing and defend what you say.

To say that you're the asshole who shows up to call people out when they say something stupid implies some sort of selective assholishness on your part that the evidence doesn't really support. Are you an asshole when someone says something stupid? Sure. The problem is, you just seem to constantly act like an asshole and, accordingly, you're an asshole in all situations.

Doogie said...

1-4 I agree with - that fucking trapezoid is a solution in search of a problem, and a needless complication. 5 and 7 I flat-out don't. 6...well, I'd rather just have playoff-style OT, but that'd be a bit unfeasible because it'd require killing back-to-backs, and probably yanking 10 games from the schedule just to get it all done by April, but I digress. No one will ever be satisfied with overtime, but I do think that either they need to go to the three-point system or a straight W-L system, if there must be a winner. No more two OR three points per game.

Ref should stop calling things they don't see? That was so supposed to be insightful?

You're starting to sound like Grabia.


Actually, that's more of a Tom Benjamin thing. But it's not like the refs have never called bullshit penalties that flat-out never happened.

And Mclea, we hate you because you're a dick, not because you post contrarian opinions. Don't tell me you've never seen these guys argue. Look no further than the whole Smyth debate three weeks ago for that. Don't be such a dick, and we'll be more than happy to include your insights into the conversation.

Finally, I see Groucho Marx has joined the circle-jerk. A pleasure, sir.

Baroque said...

I like the Zamboni suggestion a lot.

The goalies should have to take a test in handling the puck at the beginning of the season, and if they are good at it they are banned from leaving the front of the net to get the puck--if they are bad, they should be forced to handle it every time it goes behind the net; if a defenseman touches it first, it is a penalty.

And they should permit the goaltenders to tie together the skate laces of any opposition player who screens them. See how often they put their butts in his face after a few times of trying to skate with 12 inch strides! :)

Sean M. said...

Goaltending as a position is simply progressing faster than other positions. Granted, bigger equipment has had some effect on scoring but the gear is smaller now. What matters is that fans regularly see good scoring chances, not necessarily goals. If teams are trading scoring chances back and forth and the game is still 2-1 I don't any fan would say it was a bad game. Also, goalies today receive so much specific attention and training that they're miles and miles better than at any time in the NHL.

Matthew Macaskill said...

Ahhh tough year for the Oilers. Great looking blog you've got here guys!

I've added you up on my blogroll. You can check out mine (It's a Habs blog) and if you like what ya see, add me up too. :)

If Montreal can't sign Smyth this summer, I hope he goes back home to the Oilers, hehe.

Par said...

But I'd like to think that my existence here, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, plays important role.

I'm of two minds here. On the one hand, I want to congratulate McLea on getting the A Few Good Men line under the radar.

On the other hand, I really want to respond: "All right, all right, we do need you on that wall. I'll stop using 'honor', 'code' and 'loyalty' as the punchline of a joke, if you quit being so fucking self-aggrandizing about it."

Darien said...

Can we stop talking about circle-jerking? I feel dirty...

Anonymous said...

Hemskyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

Toronto needs that guy. You can have McCabe.

lowetide said...

Once again, everyone is having sex but me.

Darien said...

Once again, the oil refuse to lose in regulation. That draft pick is getting further and further away...

Anonymous said...

To comment on mike w's rule change ideas, I would do a couple things different if I got to make the rules.

1. The reffing has to be more consistent. They rarely call boarding, cross-checking, charging, or late-hits. Do they ever even call late-hits? IMO they need to be more accountable. The NFL head ref (his name is escaping me) has a weekly show during the season on NFL network where he goes over controversial calls. I think it would make the refs and players more accountable.
2. I like the trapezoid.
3. I Agree. Someone suggested just not allowing a line-change (or a tv timeout!) which makes more sense.
4. Agree.
5. Disagree. I don't have a problem when the opponents are willing combatants. The refs should make judgement calls based on the situation (ie. penalizing the 2nd guy in).
6. I would keep the SO, but alter the points awarded. Two points for the win in OT, Zero for an OT loss (4 on 4, 5 minutes). SO win would be One and a half points, S0 loss would be half a point. So it would be: W - SW - L - SOL.
7. Make the goalie equipment smaller by an inch or something, don't go changing the nets, thats almost sacrilegious.

Love the idea about stats.

I'd also change the schedule. Make it a 78 game schedule. Play 58 games within your own conference (7 against each division rival, 3 against the other 10 teams). Play 20 games against the other conference. Make the NW play the NE, the Atlantic play the Pacific, and the SE play the Central in a home and away series. And the final 10 games will be against the remaining 10 teams in the other conference (rotate home-away every year). So Leafs, Sens, Habs, Sabres, and Bruins will roll through the NW once a year, and vice-versa. I think that would be good for hockey, to establish out of conference rivalries based upon division names ;) I like the idea of an Atlantic/Pacific rivalry.

Goilers! Boolames!

-ChrissyT

Lord Bob said...

Good heavens. I go to CinO, I see that Chris! has advocated the abolition of fighting (hockey's equivilant of "why don't we just let people pay for their own health care?") and that there's a billion comments, and nobody has leapt on him for that little fighting suggestion? I'm not sure whether to despair or feel a little more faith for humanity.

Actually, since I'm physically restraining myself from defending fighting right now, maybe I should feel neither.

Chris! said...

For the record, Lord Bob, this is Mike's post, not mine.

Lord Bob said...

For the record, Lord Bob, this is Mike's post, not mine.

How was I supposed to know that? It's not like it says "// posted by mike w @ 5:14 PM 58 carefully considered rejoinders" at the bottom.

(That was just a brainfart, obviously. My sincere apologies for associating Chris! with something as heinous as fighting abolition.)

Vic Ferrari said...

As we're bitching about rules:

I wish they would use the technology available to tell us definitively whether or not the puck crossed the goal line. I don't find it entertaining to watch the referee talking on the telephone. Besides, it would just be more fair.

Anonymous said...

Heres my take on the whole goalie rules. It shouldnt be fair that a player in a contact sport be invincible when he touches the puck.

Part of me thinks you should let the goalie play the puck then make him fair game to hit. But then again goalies seem like big pussies and everyone whines about hitting them so to compromise i dont really mind the trapezoid rule even though it is kind of dumb but its better then having an invincible player.

-Doug

Anonymous said...

I would also like to see more stats coverage. As someone mentioned above (too lazy to scroll up), US broadcasts seems to have more in that area, maybe the NFL, MBL influence.

I still am searching for the Oilers HNIC record. Internet gamblers like myself and random Sports Select players would be well served by this info as I suspect that the Coil get a break on those odds when the games come up.

Duke

Colby Cosh said...

I deserve to be registered in the Big Book of Dinks for posting a comment without reading the whole thread, but you're wrong about the trapezoid. Gee, you don't go to the games to see fights--does that mean you go to see Marty Turco beat forwards to the puck and draw jiveass interference penalties?

As far as fighting goes, they've been playing NHL hockey for 80 years without anyone being fatally injured in a fair fight, and sportswriters have been predicting for at least 20 that the first death was RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER REAL SOON NOW ZOMG. Wake me when it happens.

mike w said...

Surely, a seemingly libertarian-minded person such as yourself could symptathize with a distaste for rules where rules are not needed.

Besides, now that defenders can't pin guys at the blueline, it's easier to beat a goalie to the dump in -- goalies handling the puck was a problem that I didn't notice was a problem before the rule change, but that might be just me.

As for fighting, I'm not exactly wearing a placard, marching in front of NHL head office here in Toronto, but I'm pretty much against it on grounds that it's useless. I don't buy the Don Cherry "release valve" theory; indeed, the NHL seems more violent compared to leagues without fighting, at least from what I can tell. Fights disappear in the playoffs and only crop up when a game is out of hand. To me, it just feels like an NHL 07 add-on more than a part of the game.

and sportswriters have been predicting for at least 20 that the first death was RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER REAL SOON NOW ZOMG. Wake me when it happens.

I have to admit it will make a great youtube video.

Anonymous said...

...indeed, the NHL seems more violent compared to leagues without fighting...

Well thats simply because in the NHL fighting isn't illegal. Besides comparing the NHL to other leagues (NBA, MLB, NFL, MLS? etc.) is just wrong. Basketball, baseball, and soccer aren't full-contact sports. There's not much of a need for fighting (let's call it self-policing) in the NFL. There's just not as many cheap shots in other leagues.

And their is violence in other sports. More cowardly too IMO. MLB fights (if you can even call them that) are basically big scrums. And they almost always result from perceived cheap shots. The same goes for other leagues.

I think even if fighting were legal in other leagues, there just aren't as many situations that call for fighting (hits from behind, late hits that aren't penalized, careless use of the stick, etc.). Granted there are times when players seem to fight just for the heck of it, but as long as they're both willing I don't see a problem.

And about the trapezoid. How about let the goalies play the puck outside the trapezoid, but they're "fair game". If they wanna act as a 3rd D-man, they should get treated like one.

-ChrissyT

mike w said...

Besides comparing the NHL to other leagues (NBA, MLB, NFL, MLS? etc.) is just wrong.

Um, I meant other hockey leagues, specifically in Europe. I should have been more clear.

I like the fair game rule for goalies, as well.

Doogie said...

I like the fair game rule for goalies, as well.

Might as well put that paint to good use.

Lord Bob said...

The NFL is fifty times as violent as the NHL. That's why three-quarters of its retired non-kickers can barely walk and you see Gordie Howe going around being able to even just do a lap around the ice when he's 69.

The NBA, not being a contact sport, probably has the same number of Real Cheap Shots as the NHL does.

Now, fighting may have nothing to do with all of this, but it's not accurate to say "the NHL is freaking death mania with its fighting" as some do. And since it's entertaining and you don't even get hurt often unless you're the Great Porcelean Jaw of Todd Fedoruk, I see no problem with it. It may not have much to do with anything, but is the sole purpose of sport not to entertain?

Scott H said...

As a guy who has been refereeing minor hockey for 16 years, I've had 4 line brawls during that time, 3 of them started when a guy ran the goaltender.

As much as I agree if goaltenders want to play the puck they should be treated the same as anyone else, it just wouldn't work.

The second Brad Winchester cleanly checks Kipper in the corner playing the puck, he's going to get jumped by the entire Flames line-up.

Goaltenders will never ever be treated the same as defencemen, just because the rule book says so.

fish said...

Just to get back to this, I do go to games to see fights. Well, I go to see teams win, but even an ass-scrubbing loss can feel a little better if one of our boys has punched his way into the highlight reel.
What does suck is that if someone *does* finally die on the ice with a blow, after decades and decades of statistical backing that they're unique, fighting will be banned.
Which would suhhhhck.
But back to the original post, do even the poncy assholes among us not agree about scrapping the puck-over-glass ding? Common ground, people.

Slipper said...

Instead of changing the over the glass rule I think they should completely enclose the rink in a plexiglass dome.

I'm not a fan of the no touch icing. I think the NHL should just remove the end boards and replace it with those rope webs like they used to have in the kids park part of Fantasyland. And then they should place geared up fans in the a pit directly at ice level who can slew foot players battling for the puck. It'll be just like Beyond Thunderdome.

I'm not big on the trapezoid either. I think instead they should place retracable ice panels behind the net that will randomly swallow goalies playing the puck and then randomly eject them at one of the face of dots.

They're trying to make it a better game, right?

baroque said...

I'm not big on the trapezoid either. I think instead they should place retracable ice panels behind the net that will randomly swallow goalies playing the puck and then randomly eject them at one of the face of dots.

I LOVE THAT IDEA!

And if the entire rink is going to be covered with a plexi dome, they should install one of those claw things (like in the toy machines that swallow kids' change and never actually give them the stuffed animal they want to grab) and fans could operate it--maybe have a drawing at each game to determine which seat holder wins--and they could use it during the game to scoop up selected players and remove them from the playing surface. Interesting question--would you grab one of your own team's players who is playing horrible, or one of the opponents who is playing well?

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