A Faster Hockey

http://nhl.com/columns/wigge/clutching082002.html

Obstructions, hooking, grabbing, you name it. Whatever should be stopped in order for the hockey games to speed up.Consider the impact of having rules REALLY implemented by the refs who are usually busy equalizing a boring game (unless you find 2-1 games exciting).

Obstruction is a sure way to help talented offensive players score more goals. Of course the results could never be a Oilers-eightiesERA-like 400+ goals/team, that all-offense style combined with less team & competent Dmen & goalies is passed.

The players are faster, bigger and the game got even smaller due to systematic defensive systems. Personnally i dislike having the first goal almost always decide the fate of opposing teams.

Taken from Dejan of the post-gazette:

Craig Patrick was in Vancouver earlier in the week attending a rather productive set of meetings for the NHL’s general managers. Main topic of discussion was the league’s plan to crack down on obstruction next season, and the rhetoric was so strong that it left many executives confident it might actually last beyond, say, October. As the Canucks’ Brian Burke put it, “You’ve heard this speech for four years, but it’s the single biggest problem in the game. The commissioner is a disciple on this. You will see the changes.” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman cited the league’s largely successful clamping down on slashing in the past two years as an example that referees can end obstruction, too. The emphasis will be on keeping defensemen from holding up forwards on the forecheck. “When we did the slashing standard, people were critical. And we held it,” Bettman said. “We think we can do that for forechecking, as well.”

The general managers also agreed on the need for harsher punishment against low hits, such as the Darcy Tucker attack on Michael Peca’s knee in May. Tucker was not suspended, while Peca has spent all summer in rehabilitation.


17 Responses to A Faster Hockey

  1. YingYan says:

    Hey thanx for mixing my 2 similar submissions & adding a cool intro as well as THE link! 😉

    HOCKEY RULES! 🙂

    http://nhl.com/columns/wigge/clutching082002.html

    WIGGE RULES! 🙂

    (what a strange name for a bald guy… lol! 😉

  2. habs_88_4life says:

    I think any player who can’t take the obstruction and slashing should not play pro hockey. The game speed is just right.

  3. TheBricks says:

    European Style: Speed and Quickness

    North American: Grit, Power, Hitting

    That’s the way it is and willl always be in the NHL. Guys here in North America are tought to take the body and drive hard into teh corners and to dish out as well take a beating. In Europe, skating speed is looked on a lot more compared to the gritty side of the game. After saying that, yes i agree they should call those penalties, but does it really help the pace of the game if you hear a whistle every 2 minutes because someone got their arm wacked?

  4. mebeda says:

    I’m sure that I’m not the only one who truly appreciates how the crackdown on slashing has improved hockey. Hockey has changed forever. Gary Bettman is a genius. He’s the hockey equivalent of Capt Lou Albano, the Grand Wizard and Arnold Skaaland rolled into one.

    Actually, I’m not even sure that Gary Bettman is a hockey fan, but I’m reasonably sure that his mission to crack down on slashing was nothing more than a reaction to the excessive negative publicity generated by the infamous Marty McSorley incident. Don’t get me wrong, what McSorley did was absolutely disgraceful. However, I think even casual fans recognize that his actions were clearly not within the context of the game.

    I find it troubling that the powers that be seem to focus more of their time defending hockey (which is always reactive) rather than promoting it. That having been said, I was pleased hear that the league was going to attempt to address obstruction during the upcoming season. However, I find it comical that they’re citing defenseman holding up forwards on the forecheck as the primary issue. Are they really that clueless? I heard that Gary Bettmen actually asked Serei Samsonov why its so hard to score with someone on your back.

    Kevin Paul Dupont wrote a very good column in the past Sunday’s Boston Globe on this topic. Its a good read if you’re bored.

  5. MyCaptain11 says:

    i’m glad to see the entire nhl have a heart about making the game really exciting for ALL sports fans to watch not just hockey fans. and i’m pleased that we all want the tempo of these games to be as they were prior to the lockout of 1994 and, quite frankly, how the game of hockey was meant to be played.

    HOWEVER, with all that said, obstruction has been, is, and always will be part of hockey. no one can change that, it’s just reality. besides, calling all the penalties in the world won’t help the game or the pace of the game in the long run. i don’t mind seeing a 2-1 game as long as it’s non-stop excitement as it was during the olympics, where every moment was worth watching.

    there is only one of 2 things the league can do to help keep the pace good, keep scoring at a fairly comfy level, and bring up the U.S.A. tv market(which is the bottom line objective behind all this talk of course):

    increase the width of the rink (not 15 ft. like the olympics, but what would be wrong with 5-7ft. added on?)

    go 4-on-4 at even strength

    YET i know neither one of those has a prayer of happening for obvious reasons and the fact that our society in general is reluctant to change what has become the norm.

    oh well, i can always hope and dream.

  6. garry1221 says:

    so we should be in for another treat this season…………. more obnoxious calls that should never have been called…. woo hoo… note the sarcasm there, im all for ending the real obstruction calls, but not at the expense of keeping the speed of the game high… which u know won’t be till a month before playoffs…. when the refs FINALLY learn what the right calls to make are, and which calls should never have been touched…. frankly i think each season the refs should have to go to a training camp…. let them relearn what each call looks like from all different angles… oh yeah, teach em what diving is too…..they need to learn… if the refs had something like that then games might actually be played faster cause we won’t have stupid calls from deep in the zone being called by the ref at center ice…..those calls piss me off to no end… especially when there’s another ref staring right at em….

  7. rrudd says:

    I could not agree with you more!

    If they spent a little time marketing all that is good about their product instead of yapping about the few things that are bad, you might have something.

    The NBA and NFL are doing very well. Their commissioners sell the good of the game. MLB is failing, and all we hear about is the negative.

    How come I’ve never seen a league ad with the good-looking, skilled, camera-friendly, American-born Mike Modano? Show pictures of him skating past five skaters and roofing a goal. Then show a picture of him getting whacked and throwing a few elbows in a scrum in the corner. Mix in a little blood. Show a tooth fly.

    North American Hockey isn’t for pansies or baseball players. That’s the beauty of it. Sell that idea. Bad boys and ruffians and train wrecks are marketable (see Allen Iverson, the Oakland Raiders, NASCAR)

    Besides, they’re never going to cut down on obstruction anyway. Fifteen penalties a side per game is more boring than a 2-1 game.

  8. rrudd says:

    tere were seven skaters a side at the turn of the century, so change can and does happen.

    the problem is that the union would never allow the loss of jobs.

  9. YingYan says:

    Indeed but hey guys DON’T MIX GRIND AND THOUGHNESS WITH OBSTRUCTION: THAT JUST SLOWS DOWN THE GAME TO A CRAWL AND CUTS THE GOALS OUTPUT BY AT LEAST ONE PER GAME.

    GRIT YES, HOOKING & GRABBING = CHEAP AND NOT IMPRESSIVE/ENTERTAINING STUFF

    OBSTRUCTION CAN ALSO BE A GUY NOT MOVING AT ALL, PLAYING THE ROLE OF AN OBSTACLE AND HOPING THAT THE REF WILL THINK THE GUY WHO HIT HIM SHOULD HAVE GONE ANOTHER WAY.

    HOCKEY RULES!

    SPEED IT UP!

    * BETTMAN DANCES WITH BOB-NO-GOOD-NOW WHILE THE REFS TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO *

  10. bones says:

    Definately obstruction/hooking and slashing should go unless it’s absolutely riddiculous. DIVING SHOULD BE CALLED MORE!!!! How do you impede Forsberg with a little hook. You can bash this guy against the boards and he still comes up with the puck, but if the avs are down by a goal, he goes down with a little tug. Diving should be called more and obstruction and slashing less.

  11. Old_Time_Hockey says:

    Ok so your asking them to call penalties and crack down on Obstruction.

    I thought they did that 2 years ago

    All that did was fill the penalty boxes and make the game more entertaining.

    Personally i find a game where the ref puts the whistle in his pocket more entertaining then a team going 5 for 10 on the powerplay and the referees blowing the whistle every 3 minutes for an obstruction hook or trip…..

    Don’t get me wrong. I understand that what these players are doing is not legal in the book, but nor is wrestling after the whistle, or for that matter, spitting on the ice…so how can they expect these players to suddenly stop doing something they were taught to do there whole life..

    Oh Yeah. One more point, Do you not realize that the faster the game is, the more the slower big players are going to hook and trip. That’s why obstruction is in the forefront right now. The game is so damn fast that hooking has become more and more obvious.

    Have you actually ever even watched a game from the 80’s or 70’s. The game was a lot slower than it is now!

  12. bones says:

    Obstruction/Hooking is what hockey is all about. They need to start calling Diving more. Most players can shake off a hook but take a dive cuz there’s an 85% chance it’s gonna get called and that’s better odds than scoring.

  13. Forsberg21 says:

    Unless you find 2-1 hockey games exciting? Who doesn’t? What would you rather watch, a blowout, or a game where the final outcome isn’t assured? I agree with everything else though.

  14. MyCaptain11 says:

    yep, that is one of the obvious obstacles standing in the way of 4-on-4 happening. thank you for mentioning it, altho i already understand that when i wrote this.

  15. aaron says:

    The problem w/ calling more obstruction is that diving is going to sky rocket. And the game will slow the hell down. I can just see everyone whining and bitching about the refs calling everything like they did at the start of last season. I’d almost rather see less obstruction called and more diving called.

    And I agree that today’s NHL is a lot more entertaining than most of what I’ve seen of ’80s NHL. I mean, the players SUCKED in the ’80’s. Yeah, you had the Oilers and some other great groups of players, but for the most part? The Wild could probably have an outside shot of the Cup playing against that sorry lot of teams. The goalies were awful, and so were the defensemen. Which is why the Oilers were so offensively high powered; they could win 10-3 every other game b/c they played some team whose 3rd d-pairing didn’t know which skate goes on which foot.

    I agree the game would be better w/o obstruction…but I don’t see anyway to eliminate it w/o creating worse problems.

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