I like the removal of the red line and the return of the tag-up offsides. This should free up some neutral-zone play and eliminate a ton of the whistles. Going to the shootout will be a big plus for the fans. After watching it in the minors for many years, it is very exciting, and the NHL will benefit.
I'm not a big fan of going to shootouts, ties never bothered me much. This one seems to be trying to cater to the people who deride the NHL for having ties at all. Those people aren't going to become fans just because you eliminate ties.
IMO, all these rule changes are going to have little real effect unless they start cracking down on clutching and grabbing. If they were to reduce the clutching and grabbing (ie. enforce the damn rules) I think there would be less of a need to go to shootouts. There would be more scoring, and the game would be more exciting. Not that I need a high score for me to say the game was exciting. I'm just as fond of a great defensive game. Its just playing great defense without clutching and grabbing seams to be a lost art.
Originally posted by odessasteps As a western conference fan in the east, I don't like the new schedule/.
Because I'm curious, a cross-section of the Flames sked:
-8 games (4 home/4 away) each against Edmonton, Vancouver, Colorado & Minnesota -4 games (2 home/2 away) each against Anaheim, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix, San Jose & St. Louis. -5 home games (1 each) against Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa & Toronto -5 away games (1 each) against New Jersey, the Rangers, the Islanders, Philadelphia & Pittsburgh
- Teams with defensemen who tend to pinch in from the point are going to hate the combination of the zone changes and the two-line pass. Not only do the D pair have to patrol more ice, and not only will the smaller area behind the net decrease the amount of time the puck spends low, but the right kind of clearing attempt will make for some breaks as defensemen scramble to turn & burn to catch up with one or more streaking forwards. It'll make for some great odd-man advantages at full speed.
- Tag-up offsides are fantastic from a playing perspective, but with the smaller neutral zone they're pretty much necessary. Even at the minor hockey level they tend to help create long periods of time between whistles. It can get a little messy, as players often stay on for extended shifts, but teams will adjust. If there do end up being fewer face-offs you'll likely see teams start thinking in terms of "groups" of players rather than traditional "lines" because there will be far more changing on the fly.
- I don't know about reducing the area where the goalie can play the puck, but it'll be interesting to see if it does indeed make a difference. The reduction in goalie equipment was entirely necessary. I've been on the ice some in the last year or two and cannot get over the size of pads, gloves, and sweaters and how much difference they make in how much net you have to shoot at.
- Nobody I knew ever understood why the goalie was the only player not allowed to shoot the puck over the glass in his own zone. Now we don't need to wonder anymore.
- No ties. It had to happen eventually. I was once involved in a Pee Wee tournament where two overtimes and two shoot-outs couldn't decide the final. Once you've seen a game decided by a coin flip, a shoot-out doesn't seem so bad Teams with few stand-out offensive players or weaker goalies will have to be more aggressive in overtime. And you'll see both sweet goals and grand larceny saves. Everybody wins. I like defensive hockey a lot, but the fact of the matter is that 60-75% of the potential fan base doesn't always appreciate it. What's more, since the advent of the trap and the wing lock, low scoring games have been more a result of "boring but solid defense" rather than "truly beautiful defense".
- Once again, I'll believe they've cut down on clutching and grabbing when I see it. Hell, even out playing gentleman's hockey I still find myself pawing guys here and there; it's an almost impossible instinct to stop, especially when you're tired. I would have preferred seeing the penalties for hooking, slashing, and possibly tripping become automatic double-minors. Obstruction via little bumps, pushes, etc., have always been part of the game--the real problem is the use of sticks in the process. Without the stickwork, serious obstruction is easy to spot and call while the obstruction that belongs more in the category of "smart hockey" goes on naturally.
All in all, I'm excited to see hockey back on my TV; I never thought I'd miss it as much as I did when it was gone.
It's hard to really tell how the rule changes will affect the game because some have been tried in the AHL, some are from International hockey and some are just old NHL rules. You can do all the tests and camps you want but until you have a live game with NHL players, coaches, officials, we don't really know what the outcome will be.
As fans we need to be patient with all the penalties that will come with a real crackdown on obstruction. They need to really punish coaches and players who speak out against all the penalties as well because they just intimidate young referees.
I'm not a huge fan of shootouts but I think its good for the fans because even in a hockey mad market like Vancouver, people groan when a game ends in a tie. And playing until there's a winner isn't really feasible in the regular season. As long as there's no shootouts in the playoffs, I'm fine with it.
Finally, the problem with the NHL has never been the lack of scoring, IMO, its the lack of flow. We were having games where the shots were like 18-15. Before, a 1-0 game used to have like 30-40 shots per team. That means there's lots of chances and action. A great save is as entertaining as a great goal but with all the clutching and grabbing going on, there weren't enough scoring chances.
Boring hockey is better than no hockey at all so I can't wait for October whether these new rules work or not.
"When did they pass a law that says the people who make my sandwich have to be wearing gloves? I'm not comfortable with this. I don't want glove residue all over my food; it's not sanitary. Who knows where these gloves have been?" - George Carlin
So the Blackhawks are scheduled to play the Red Wings at Wrigley on New Year's Day. I contacted the Hawks and were told that the tickets were only going to season ticket holders. My buddy and I really wanted to go to Chicago for this game.