NHL Scoring Continues Trending Downhill
NHL Scoring Continues Trending Downhill – I have been a hockey player and a fan for over 20 years. I have seen my fair share of many hockey games, from high scoring seasons to now very low scoring seasons.
Bottom line is this: The NHL took away ties and now force the winning team to skate away with two points rather than 1 point a piece. First the league tried 4 on 4 overtime leading to shootouts. Think about it, we are only human not robots, how does the league expect these players to play a full 60 minute game then a 5 minute overtime THEN a shootout?
Now this season the league has applied 3 on 3 overtimes, still 5 minutes and still allowing shootouts if needed. Sure 3 on 3 overtime is beyond exciting and I think it is great for the league, in terms of an All Star game style. But not for a grueling 82 regular season game.
Hockey is one of the toughest sports to play, constant road trips, constant time zone changes, constant back to back games then you throw in early games on the weekends and holidays.
Coaches have adapted to the changes and not in favor of the league. Coaches now have to utilize their players stamina and play a much tighter defense to ensure their offense stays energized enough for the next game. I have seen many teams play such a basic defense keeping the shots to the outside allowing even average goalies look amazing. I am sure the league is pissed off about that 😉
I could go through stats to prove my point but this is all common sense although somebody working for the league lacks it. More ice time means less energy. And now with these 3 on 3 overtimes, which obviously consists of much more energy wasted carries over into following games.
I personally don’t blame coaches for adapting to low scoring games, in order to utilize energy and stamina, after-all it’s their jobs on the line more than the players who are locked into contracts that cannot be terminated unless they are bought out. In which teams still have to pay bought out players a part of their salary. Coaches get the axe and that’s it.
The league is trying to strive for more goals and thinking about cutting down on goaltending pads. Back in the day goalies pads were nearly half of what they are today and those games had over 6 goals a game most of the time. However at the same time those goaltenders were not as developed as they are today. The same applies for the defense. This game has evolved so much over the last 20 years from defensive building to offensive building too much and I mean MUCH better goaltending development.
I will continue to love this great game of hockey but I do not like the direction this league is heading. They are trying to keep up with the NFL and that will never happen. Never. Besides, football sucks, what hockey fan has time for that trash?
What needs to happen from my experience, if a game ends in a tie, it should end in a tie and each team should get 1 point a piece. The teams get off the ice after 60 minutes and have enough in the tank to recover and get ready for the next match-up. Plus the emotional stress won’t carry over which would be my biggest concern as a professional hockey player. There is absolutely nothing wrong with tied hockey games, it worked back in the day so why can’t it work now?
Also if I may add, this will build more of a rivalry among teams.
They already cut out fighting and eliminated those big open ice hits, that’s basically the gateway to allowing more flow and goal scoring. Now it is time to allow games to end in ties and I guarantee the NHL will get the goals they want.
I do have to say, this upcoming All Star series is going to be very exciting but the poor goalies will be drained. Or they will just play average and allow what the league wants. Then again at least they will have the 2 week’s off and get back to business.
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Last note: In the playoffs teams continue to play 20 minute sudden death overtimes. Why should the playoffs be any different from the regular season? The playoffs are considered a second season among hockey players, let them have the energy they need for those possible 20 minute overtimes if they deserve to even make the playoffs.
I pray the league does not continue going into this downhill spiral because it will come back to bite them in the ass. Especially when they try to cut back on goaltenders pads. Or worse, extend the size of nets. Don’t ever expect Olympic sized arenas, they won’t spend the money.
Then again I could be a pucking idiot and not have a clue of what I am even talking about. I am not the one managing the greatest sports on earth….
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