What about the good side of it all?

It’s time to talk about the good side of this “new NHL” and I would say that even though there are negatives, there is just as much, if not more, positives.

So far we have discussed the sometimes “over-exagerated” rule enforcing by the refs, the diving, the shootouts, etc.. But no matter how you look at it, with ratings and overall attendance up, there must be something good that’s happening.

First of all I’m sure many of you noticed, as I have, that the duration of a game is smaller which is not necessarily a bad thing. To me it means that the play is faster and more exciting. Players skate from one end to the other instead of being bottled up in the neutral zone for 10 minutes at a time. When both teams used to play trap hockey or some other whacked defensive system, they just played sketchy in the neutral zone and cause so many offsides or icings which would result in whistles blown and multiple, annoying and slow faceoffs. Sometimes games would extend into the 2 1/2+ hour range while now they typically end after 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Another nice thing is the abolition of two line passes which creates many more exciting turnovers and also making it impossible for a team to practice the trap. How many times did any of you ask youselves: “that would have been a good 2 on 1 if only he was outside the blueline”?

Momentum shifts, many of them. Yes there are many penalties and yes a lot of them are predictable but the outcome of ANY penalty is NOT. Shorthanded opportunities come around more often. Also, going into the 3rd period with a two goal lead is not longer a sure thing. Not that it was in the past but if you were a trap or clutching/grabbing team, you were 20 minutes away from a win. The way it is now, you have 20 minutes to score more goals and make sure you win.

Dump and chase play is down for the simple fact that players are opting to just head right into the zone knowing that if they’re held or hooked, there will be a call so this makes it easier for teams to establish an offensive zone cycle. However, there is a new aspect to dumping the puck due to my next point…

The limitation of a goalies’ play behind the net. When a team dumps the puck in the zone, they’ll do it so it passes the goal line but not reach the goalies’ restricted zone. I’ve seen a lot of teams this year just dump the puck straight in on the far board instead of rolling it around to the other side or simply “lob” it over the defenseman for the puck to land in the “no goalie zone”, forecheck positioning then resumes the same way as before.

The way it was in the past, any goalie with a minimum of stickhandling skill would just stop the puck behind the net wherever it was and simply pass it to his closest defenceman who would just chip it out off the boards for another 10 minutes of horrible neutral zone play along with a half-hour of whistles.

I do not disagree with the fact that some things do need to change. Perhaps they are in the process of changing. Perhaps the refs are in the same kind of “adjustment” period as the players are. Nonetheless, I just felt it was important to point out some things that make the games more interesting to watch. There is an effect of suspense I feel every game I watch that I just did not feel in the past.

I am a habs fan for life and I am very pleased with their season debut but I do not watch only the Habs. With NHL center ice, I catch many games. Western conference games too. Vancouver, Colorado and yes my 2nd favorite team, the New York Rangers (Sather is GOD). It should be understood that my opinions are not a result of a biased view on my team’s good start but a view as to what I’ve seen so far this year, on different levels.

I want to know what you people “like” about the new NHL. Enough talking about all the bad stuff.


47 Responses to What about the good side of it all?

  1. norutrat says:

    The new NHL is great… Now if some would get a clue and stop using every bad calls refs make as an argument that the new rules suck…

    Bad calls aren’t part of the new rules.. they are what they are.. bad calls… mistakes from the refs.. They’ll get better at it…

  2. Marky2Fresh says:

    I see them let obvious hooking calls go, but call stupid stuff like slashing when it is borderline.

    I don’t mind tightening up on the obstruction, but you have to let a little more of the chippy stuff go.

    If not it’s going to become the NBA on skates.

  3. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Positive: Claude Julien and the Montreal Canadiens

    Negative: Pat Quinn and the Toronto Maple Laughs

  4. robinson19 says:

    In fairness, you are a habs fan, as am I, which means we have to love the rule changes because of the habs speed and skill. However we also benefit from having a couple guys like Begin, Higgins, and Boullion who take advantage of the quick open ice not so much for skill but for great hitting.

    That said, I think given some patience on behalf of some other fans, the reffing will become more consistent and the players will adjust. I think we’ll be seeing more 5 on 5 soon. Plus the hard nosed guys are starting to figure out how they can hit and grind within the new rules and we’ll see more of that. Just need a little patience.

  5. thatleafsguy says:

    Could this comment be any more stupid?

    Funny how for the years the Habs missed the playoffs, we as Leaf fans could have called Montreal the Montreal Crapnadiens, but we didn’t. I and many other aficionados would take the Leafs over the Habs in a playoff showdown any day. I hope the Leafs finish 8th and the habs finish 1st. I WANT THE HABS FIRST ROUND, TO LAY THE LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER.

    Positive: Leafs destroy the Habs in a playoff battle.

    Negative: Hab fans after the destruction, crying.

  6. Air33 says:

    they would love to be the NBA on skates would be great. NBA is way bigger then the NHL.

  7. Air33 says:

    HAHA it would be clean sweep by the Habs. The leafs can’t keep up with their speed.

    And i dont think Lindros would last a whole playoff round.

  8. SensfanVone says:

    Well thats your opinion I guess.

  9. muckies says:

    I think the Leaves should trade Allison to the Raptors because they need another big, slow, unmotivated, overpriced guy to play center.

    And if he doesn’t fit in at center they can move him to the wing.

  10. thatleafsguy says:

    The Leafs would be breaking out the brooms to sweep the Habs on to the golf course. The Habs are not as good as their record, many 1 goal wins proves that.

  11. thatleafsguy says:

    I think the Raps would prefer Chara in that appetizing position, unmotivated, big, slow, soon to be overpriced raging czech, that throws more elbows than Rodman. I’d love to see Shaq stomp his ass to the ground.

  12. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Before u destroy the Habs in the playoffs, I’d be more concerned if your team even MAKES IT to the playoffs.

  13. morrissey says:

    Leafs suck and have for years, when was the last time they even made it the finals??? In Canada EDM, CAL, VAN, MTL have all been at least once in the past 20 years and all but VAN won the cup in that period. And for your info MTL and TO have each missed the playoffs 6 times in that 20 year period, big difference is that the Habs actually achieved playoff success when they qualified whereas the Maple Laughs only ever succeed at cronic mediocrity. The Leafs have been the worst Canadian team in recent NHL history, consistent playoff chokers. Whoohoo maybe you’ll beat a recent expansion team in the first round like usual then you are out on your asses like every other year since 1967. And you expect all of Canada to be Leafs fans??? Why would we cheer for a team that hasn’t had playoff success for 40 years, when our teams are fighting for the cup??? Laugh it up Maple Joke.

  14. morrissey says:

    Ya you are so right a 1 goal win is soooo much worse than an 8 goal LOSS! …. Maple Idiot

  15. Flyer_Dman says:

    The leafs have two types of players. Old, slow, and skilled, or young, fast, and unskilled. There are one or two that obviously don’t fit the bill but you know what I mean.

    Your team revolves around heart and Mats Sundin. If either falter your not making the playoffs. And if you do make the playoffs you aren’t going anywhere. The Leafs just don’t have it this year.

    The Leafs will not be able to compete against two extremely fast scoring lines, solid defense, and a guy named Jose Theodore. Sheldon Souray has not even found his game yet and they are still at the top.

    The playoffs start right now and the Habs end up playing the Leafs…Leafs get swept no doubt.

  16. Flyer_Dman says:

    Best part of the “new NHL”….

    Simon Gagne, Peter Forsberg, and Mike Knuble.

  17. Bishop7979 says:

    I like that the salary cap has forced many teams into using younger players to fill holes in rosters, and because of this many good hockey players are playing for teams that never would have given them a chance in years past.

    Yeah there is Crosby and Ovechkin, but there are still guys like Jussi Jokinen, Joffry Lupul, Alex Perezhogin, Justin Williams, and Ryan Whitney who are playing major roles on their teams, roles that probably would have been filled veterans in years past.

    And I like that speed and skill has found its way back into the game. especially on defense. guys like Micheal Liles, Fedor Tyutin, and Sami Salo are worth so much more now while slower less skilled defensmen like Gill, O’Donnell and Boughner have found their value lowered.

  18. thatleafsguy says:

    …………..snore bud look at the statistics instead of being an ass, its all in the stats.

  19. thatleafsguy says:

    oh they’ll make it.

    Don’t poke to hard, the Habs are on top now but who knows where they will be in a month.

  20. thatleafsguy says:

    ya thats why in 2 meetings against the habs the series is tied at 1 win a piece……you really know jack shit about hockey.

  21. donkey_kong05 says:

    I like the lesbian cheerleader sex part of it.

    Seriously, players are entering the offensive zone at much higher speed which allows for more shooting from the wing. Given the smaller goalie pads, they now have a bigger target.

    No, wait, I changed my mind again, it’s really the lesbian cheerleader sex.

  22. thatleafsguy says:

    keep focusing on the past, i’m focusing on today, you’re stanley cup parade ended 12 years ago.

  23. thatleafsguy says:

    no problem chiquita.

  24. habfan1160 says:

    I love this new NHL. It will take some time before things get settled down and players and officials fully adjust. Terry Gregson was on TSN’s Off The Record a few months back and stated that the adjustment period will be at least a full season upwards to two full NHL seasons.

    Skill AND speed are finally back in the game and attendance is up. The product that is on the ice today is leaps and bounds superior to that of a few seasons ago. I do not want to see a bunch of grown men holding-on to each other and tug at each other for two and half hours. I want to see, and am finally seeing, skill, grace, and speed re-enter the game, which will only help boost the on ice product.

    I am also noticing that the fighting that is now in the game is part of the flow of the game. What I mean is that the fights happen because emotions and frustrations run high. Previously, fights were too staged for my liking because the fighters only played 2 minutes each game and their job was to fight. In essence, the fight was a sideshow and not something that was within the game itself. In sum, I only enjoy fighting when it is part of the game (remember Kovalchuck vs. Comrie?) and not some orchestrated event between two goons.

  25. SensfanVone says:

    I’d love to see Shaq stomp your ass to the ground……..listen to yourself ragging on Chara

    a man who was a top 3 finalist for Norris last year a man who was tied for defenceman goals with Redden and a big very defensive sound guy.

    I think you need to get a life. Just because Chara is a Senator and the Senators own you this year doesn’t mean you need to open your mouth.

  26. SensfanVone says:

    The 2 best things about NHL this year…….

    Gagne,Forsberg,Knuble

    Alffredsson,Spezza,Heatley

    lol

  27. thatleafsguy says:

    need a tissue, chill out lil kid. I’d love to stomp you.

  28. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Your focusing on today? Better readjust your focus because you clowns can’t see anyone or anything from the basement of the Northeast!.

  29. thatleafsguy says:

    hahaha the season is still young my friend.

  30. SensfanVone says:

    Ya do you have any tissue for me I could use one to stuff down your……….

    anywhays how bout those Jays????

    and bye the bye I hope that the Habs get killed tonight.(Im just in an arguing mood today)so bring it on everybody I’ll apoligise tomorrow.LOL

  31. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Your right! I’m going to personally e-mail Gary Bettman and have the 10 wins that Montreal has by 1 goal stricken from the record because they shouldn’t count.

  32. SensfanVone says:

    ?????ok?????

  33. SensfanVone says:

    lil kid wtf.???

  34. SensfanVone says:

    But seriously why do we all argue about stuff like this God knows the only good sportsteam in TO is

    the leafs I mean the raptors are a joke and I bet they would take Chara over friggin Arujuo or whatever the hell his name is!!

  35. poulin20 says:

    I hate the Sens, but can definitely spot you that one.

  36. SensfanVone says:

    Hey its hard to argue with that much skill.

    Who you like??Leafs or Habs?

  37. poulin20 says:

    Flyers…the team with the other best line in hockey.

  38. thatleafsguy says:

    did i say that?

  39. morrissey says:

    How ’bout these stats

    MTL 12-3-1

    TO 8-6-2

    The only hockey expert that can look at that and predict a sweep by the Leafs is an idiot Leaf fan.

  40. morrissey says:

    Today? Today u r struggling to remain above .500 while we lead the conference. Just what exactly do see in the Leafs that says “wow now here is a team that’s going far this year”? In the past few seasons they have had a shot and choked, but this year, they aren’t even close!

  41. morrissey says:

    So exactly which teams in their division do the Leafs have a winning record against this year?????

  42. thatleafsguy says:

    if you say so……the habs only have 4 more wins than the leafs…..you really need to slow your roll, its early in the season.

  43. thatleafsguy says:

    simple really.

    Sundin

    Lindros

    Allison

    O’Neill

    Tucker

    McCabe

    Kaberle

    Steen

    Stajan

    Wellwood

    Antropov

    BELFOUR

    ………….

    You cannot deny the talent that the Leafs have this year, to write them off would be the most ignorant of all hockey fans.

  44. thatleafsguy says:

    1-1 with Boston and Montreal, lost *3 to the Sens (2 by shootout), have not played Buffalo yet. This is why I say it is early in the year, slow your nut the Habs WILL NOT continue this pace they are on, they simply do not have the horses.

  45. morrissey says:

    Fat lot of talent there… 1 guy who hasn’t played for 2 years, one with concussion problems, 3 unproven rookies, a 40 year old goalie with a bad back and Tucker & Antropov in your top 3 wingers… and you didn’t even list the other 8 nobodies the opposition loves to rape each night.

  46. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Hey retard, this isn’t 98/99 season.

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