Winning, winning…. but getting no where.

After the lock out, there were a lot questions regarding how the new rules would pan out.
For the most part, a couple of rules seem to be working – No two line pass (speeds up the game) – Goalie trap zones ( keeps goalie in the net ) – Puck over the glass penalty ( Adds pressure to defence on a power play )

The referees…. I don’t think they’ve got better or worse. On some nights officiating is horrible! Calling penalties all game. Some games…. not so much. There are still a ton of injuries regardless how strict you get. So refs stop slowing the game down!!!

The scheduling is whats really bothering me. At first it seemed like a good idea to have teams in the same division face each other 6 to 8 times a season and play teams in your own conference at least 4 to 5 times a season. We could watch more rivalry games….right? Watching what’s been happening the last couple of months I don’t think its a good idea anymore.
I’m watching teams go on winning streaks and not gaining any spots in the standings….. why? Because too many teams in the same conference are playing each other on the same nights!!! So in other words, half way through the season, a team like Chicago or Florida will NOT make the play offs this year! 10 points all of a sudden looks like 20 points! This will eventually demotivate players and they’ll request trades. Which by coincidence is probably why you hear all this trade buzz around teams like Phoenix, Florida, Colorado, New York, Los Angeles, and so on.

I think to start off the first half of the season it makes sense to face your conference rivals a few times. This will allow teams that play well in the start of the season to have good spot in the standings for the second half of the season!

NOW, second half of the season should have a lot more west vs east games! This way the conference leaders have to go on their own winning streaks to maintain their position. This could create more action in the standings.
The way things are going now the top four positiions seem like a lock.
Now I understand there are more costs involved in frequent coast to coast flights but try the best possible solution. Try something!!!
To tell you the truth, I’m getting tired of seeing the same teams play each other over and over again…. It takes away the essence of the rivalry. How many times do want to see the battle of Alberta in one season? Or the Battle of Ontario? Even the Toronto vs Montreal rivalry has got very stale…. theres no fire… not fights!!! These games are not special anymore because they play each other 8 times a season!!! A change needs to be done.

And another thing….. this third place spot reserved for a division leader is crap too. It makes no sense to see Calgary ahead of Detroit with 65 points when Detroit has 74 points. The NHL should reserve the fourth spot not the third.

Thats just my thoughts!

6 Responses to Winning, winning…. but getting no where.

  1. 92-93 says:

    winning and getting somewhere.

    they are 4 pts out of 4th with a game in hand. just because the Pens and Bolts are rising, the Canes and Habs are dropping. all the leafs should do is worry about themselves, not the standings.

  2. 92-93 says:

    sorry about the above comment – i meant it for a leaf rumors post …

    as for THIS post, i agree that 8 times is TOO MANY GAMES. i like facing the habs and sens but not facing the Blues or Wings at least twice a year makes no sense. and dont get me started on not facing the Western canadian teams.

    the divisional leaders makes sense for the amount of divisional games played.

  3. kamullia says:

    I have to admit that I did not quite understand what you meant exactly with the scheduling. For what I gathered you are basically saying that you want more intra-conferences (i.e. Eastern team vs. Western team) games because then makes the points more significant. But if that is what you meant, this is the wrong thinking, because playoffs standings to a team are only relative to within your own conference (until the Stanley Cup finals to determine home-rink advantage). Therefore when you lose a game within your own conference, you are virtually talking about losing 4 points in the race against that team, because not only did you lose the chance of gaining two points, but you gave a team within your conference two points.

    I have mixed feelings about the schedule myself, but it is because in part it overwhelmingly benefits the better teams in the weak divisions. When you play 8 games against each team in your division, that means that 32 games of 82 total games (or 39% of your schedule) is within your division. And if you are within a weak division, it is obviously easier to play almost 40% of the year against weaker teams. That is why in my opinion for example, teams like Detroit, Atlanta, and Nashville, although certainly good teams, have a somewhat inflated amount of points and wins because they get to play against a lot of weaker teams. While for example teams like Vancouver and Calgary, or Toronto have to put a bigger effort to obtain the same amount of points being that they are playing 40% of their games against tougher opponents. For example, in theory if you are within a weak division that gives you already 39% of “easier” games, and could turn out that your 4 or even your 8 games against teams in the other conferences, are also games against a weak division. Therefore you could end up playing 36-40 games in one year against weaker opponents…that’s could be almost 50% of the schedule!! While another team could have all those games against tougher divisions and have a 50% harder schedule.

    As far as I’m concerned (and I am certain I am in the minority here), playing intra-conference games, although nice for fans to get to see players and teams that they don’t usually see, could be skipped. After all, the standings are meant to compare your team specifically within your own conference, and being that not the same teams played against the other conferences are not played by all teams in your conference, it could be either an advantage or disadvantage that artificially changes the standings of your team within your own conference. Therefore I say, since the standings are meant to compare your team exclusively within your conference, then play ALL teams within your conference the same amount of games (not heavy loaded within your division), and forget playing against the other conference. Otherwise, give some extra incentive for those intra-conference games to make a difference in the standings (say make a win worth 4 points)…or change the way the standings are calculated all together.

  4. PSU_Penguin says:

    I don't like the idea of cutting intra-conference games, segregating the league will only lead to imballance and a huge difference in play-style.  The east is already too closed up and stuffy when it comes to games, don't encourage them to become even more defensive.

  5. bleedingblu says:

    I agree for the Leafs the next few games are huge for them. This is an opportunity for them to really jump in the standings. Its about time too after 5 wins in a row.

  6. NjDEVSFN says:

    Bettman wants divisional opponents to develop rivalries.

    Ok, great, the Devils have had a rivalry with the Rangers since 1982. Sure, at times its been dominated by one of the 2 teams, but meeting in the PLAYOFFS is what cultivates rivalries.

    I'm not sure, but I'm almost positive that GARY BETTMAN was Commissioner when they changed from DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS to 1-8 seedings.

    With 3 Divisions in each conference that is impossible, so I am all for going back to 2 divisions.

    The Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry would NOT exist if it wasnt for the PLAYOFFS.

    Devils-Rangers and Devils-Flyers would be virtually non-existent if they havent met in the playoffs (4x and 3x respectively).

    Out of 32 divisional games, it is only late in the season that they start to mean anything at all.

    In the playoffs, all 4 to 7 games mean something.

    Playoff games are always intense and bring out the best of the skill and physicality of both teams involved.

    Divisional Playoffs are the way to go.

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