Some things really need to change
Like most of us, I was growing weary of the old NHL. I disliked the blatant holding, hooking, grabbing, clogging up the neutral zone, the left wing lock, the trap, goalies who are so adept at playing the puck that they all but eliminate the forecheck… perpetuating the trap.
I am already sick of the joke I am seeing on the ice most nights. I have to believe that they could enforce the rules and eliminate the stuff that was hurting the game, without sending a player to the penalty box every 3 or 4 minutes.
Someone has to say it, the refereeing is ridiculous. Half the players have no idea what is going to be called, and when. As a fan, I have seen more mystery calls already this year than I think I saw all of last season.
Supposedly situational refereeing has been eliminated. Well, I ain’t seeing that either. I can almost guarantee a power-play late in the game for a team down a goal. In fact, it isn’t a stretch to predict a 2-man advantage for a team down a goal or two; same crap.
… and the DIVING! Good lord, every player on every team is now a diving expert. Players get touched, they dive. This has to be the number one skill in the NHL right now. It isn’t Bill-Barber-esque swan dives, it is “semi-real” looking diving. You just know half the crap is a dive. There is no way these players suddenly became so easy to knock down. A little tap on the pads and next thing you know, there’s a yard sale on the ice and the player down in a heap in the middle of it.
As a Soccer announcer once said in a world cup game “A big strong strapping lad, took a little bump and went down like he was pole-axed”
I have to say this, it reminds me of soccer! It is pathetic.
I really hope the league settles somewhere in between where they can crack down on the interference in the neutral zone, and the hooking or holding of a player with the puck… but not call a freaking penalty every couple minutes. I also heard someone suggest a misconduct penalty or an additional 2-minutes for diving. You want to improve the flow of game, crack down hard on dives for 3 or 4 weeks and maybe we’ll see players actually fighting to stay on their skates and make the play again.
Or, we could just eliminate contact altogether, take the goalies right out of the game, implement a pretty dress code and award free penalty shots at the empty net from center ice every time there is contact on the ice.
Detroit 94 – Nashville 87…
Yeah, the game is much better now.