Return to Run and Gun Hockey?

Below is an interesting article posted on Hockey’s Future by Dean Belanger.

Before you read it I have a comment and some questions:

I am most intrigued and encouraged by the new rules and enforcement in the NHL. Assuming the rules are committed to fully this year and into the future, how will this affect the game?

How will this effect current teams? Which teams will slide this year? Which teams will rise this year? Does Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa get 110 points? Does St. Louis, New Jersey, Toronto or Philly make the playoffs (may be bad examples)?

How about players? Are there some smallish guys in the AHL who might all of the sudden have a place in the NHL? Who becomes old-school and has no place anymore?

What does this do to defence? Sather said that he’s going to need 12 defensemen now because they will get creamed without the obstruction.

Are the old “character” guys out? To be replaced by young run and gunners?

Goalies? Lots of questions here. Who likes lots of shots? Who will be too slow?

Is Hitch*****, Lemaire, Martin and Burns old school? Is Quinn, Tippett and Crawford going to be the most successful?

Will the playoffs still be ruled differently than the regular season?

Will there be more power plays this year? If so, how does this change your evaulation of the good and bad teams?

Lots of questions. I really want your opinions on this; this can become a milestone year for the NHL into a new era.


The return of Fire Wagon hockey?!?

Posted by Dean Belanger on 09/20/2002

Somebody get Billy Idol on the phone. Ditto Wang Chung. Is there a Wham reunion just around the corner? Am I going to grow my mullet back? Well, lets hope not, but there was a whole lot of 1980’s going on at Skyreach center Friday night against Vancouver.

After a 45-minute delay to the start of the game, the fans were treated to some old time hockey, and we’re not referring to Eddie Shore! Paul Coffey, Wayne Gretzky, and heck, even Grant Fuhr would have been proud to see the Oilers post 8 goals in a 8-5 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The win avenges the 3-2 loss to the “same” Canuck team from the night before in Winnipeg. Alexei Semenov was the only player from either team to suit up for both games.

In other action Friday, Boston lit the lamp 6 times in a 6-4 victory over Washington, Ottawa was able to put 7 goals in against Toronto in their victory, Pittsburgh and New Jersey combined for 8 goals, as did Columbus and Buffalo. Somewhere Gary Bettman is smiling. It is obviously way to soon to start projecting numbers, but even a layman mathematician can see that the enforcement on obstruction is having it’s desired effect.

The game started slow, with Janne Niinimaa getting his first goal of the pre-season on a nifty little move and a fantastic wrist shot. That would be the only goal in a period dominated by Vancouver power plays. Assisting on the goal was Mike York, who would go on to post a 4 point game with his first goal, and by Tony Salmelainen who is just simply fun to watch. He is an impressive package of speed and skill, and the puck just seems to follow him around. With a goal and three assists, York was named the games first star.

The two teams exploded in the second period for a combined 7 goals, many coming on the power play as a result of obstruction penalties. Markus Naslund once again proved why he could contend for the scoring lead this season after netting his first two goals. Naslund was also the second star of the contest.

The third star was Mike Comrie who only scored a hat trick, and the third came with the net empty to secure the victory in front of a decent crowd of over 13,000. Many stayed despite having to stay outside during the power outage in a bitter September wind, and were not disappointed, unless they came to see a fight. Shawn Legault was ejected in the first period for kneeing Ed Jovanovski, and there were no fireworks from Georges Laraque or Mike Brown. Also, strangely enough, there was very little hitting as both team opened it up and played fire wagon hockey.