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Want more entertainment? Force the goalies to make saves again


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Fun article. And it's nice to hear it from a goalie. Ways to make the game more entertaining?

1) unrelated to ice size: make each game worth 3 points. 3 to win, 2 to win in OT, 1 to lose in OT, 0 to lose in regulation. OT is continuous 3 on 3, no shootout. GMs and coaches whose jobs are buoyed by false .500 records are happy for loser points. Get the incentive to win, not to get to OT.

2) shrink the neutral zone and extend the goal out from the boards. I would keep offsides as a call lest you have a forward just parked full-time between the o-zone faceoff dots waiting for a bomb pass. That'd be like lacrosse forwards and...  that's boring if your team stinks.   This does pose a problem with the bench spanning the blue line even more than today and the whole "d-man waiting step off the ice is now offsides" when the puck gets turned around quickly. But that could be managed. One way would be to put the benches on opposing sides/ends of the ice and splitting the penalty boxes to opposing sides as well. That would also be messy.

3) Dryden mentions how basketball created the 3-point shot. I don't like the idea of a 2-goal shot in hockey... because there isn't that vertical aspect that there is in basketball. Keep the plane at the current level.  But wow -- think of how space might open up if a screened shot that managed to get through from the point without being deflected by an offensive player would be worth 2 goals. Insanity.

4) But, like Dryden, I am good with increasing the size of the nets. Hockey purists be darned. The goalies are so big, so well coached, and their equipment so well-designed... make them cover just a bit more ice and vertical space. Just think how many posts/crossbars are in a game now. 3-4 per game? Some will still bounce away, but what if 2-3 of those go in each game? Think back before the COVID break... there was a game where... Hall? Skinner? had two in just the span of minutes. And then we had another later on. Even the Sabres would score more. And that might mean defenders stepping out just a bit, which opens pressures to the slot. Don't worry! We'd still be a bad team, because the opposition would also get an extra goal per game. But there'd be more of a threat to score. And the best goalies would still be the best goalies. And some of the littler more athletic guys would still be great (relatively), too.

Edit: I forgot to mention. The nets don't have to drastically change to make a difference. 4'2" by 6'2" would probably result in an extra goal or two per game.

 

Edited by DarthEbriate
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1 hour ago, DarthEbriate said:

I dunno. If you're an opposing fan you love to see it when your third or fourth line cycles the puck against the Eichel line. It usually ends with your team scoring a goal and the Sabres folding.

Whereas when we cycle the puck (was it last game?) for a minute, then change lines to the Eichel line with the puck still in the attacking zone...  it ends with 0 SOG and an offsides whistle, against us.

lol, maybe against the Sabres, but in most games the cycle usually ends in nothing more than a blocked shot or an easy shot for the goalie to stop. The game is still about net presence and getting in the dirty areas. The Olofsson style scoring threat only exists on power plays with the added open ice. 

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1 hour ago, DarthEbriate said:

think of how space might open up

4) But, like Dryden, I am good with increasing the size of the nets. Hockey purists be darned. The goalies are so big, so well coached, and their equipment so well-designed... make them cover just a bit more ice and vertical space. Just think how many posts/crossbars are in a game now. 3-4 per game? Some will still bounce away, but what if 2-3 of those go in each game? Think back before the COVID break... there was a game where... Hall? Skinner? had two in just the span of minutes. And then we had another later on. Even the Sabres would score more. And that might mean defenders stepping out just a bit, which opens pressures to the slot. Don't worry! We'd still be a bad team, because the opposition would also get an extra goal per game. But there'd be more of a threat to score. And the best goalies would still be the best goalies. And some of the littler more athletic guys would still be great (relatively), too.

Edit: I forgot to mention. The nets don't have to drastically change to make a difference. 4'2" by 6'2" would probably result in an extra goal or two per game.

 

It's funny, maybe it's generational, but I don't want more space. I want more contact. The soccer comparison was a good one, and I don't want hockey to become soccer. 

As for the nets, you don't need bigger nets if you make the pads smaller.

 

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I blame the current state of "boring" hockey on the coaches.  Too much defensive minded/structured/puck possession hockey.  Perfect case in point is the 3 on 3 strategy of a team who will actually have possession of the puck in the offensive zone, and skate back into their own zone in order to make a line change.  IMO this should be an instant delay of game penalty.  This is nothing like what 3 on 3 was like when first implemented.

 

Combine that with fighting pretty much eliminated from hockey, and IMO hard body checking is also on the decline.  Sorry, but physical play was always a big part of hockey, and Bettman and Co are to blame for it being phased out.  Add in 190 pound goalies with enough equipment to make them look like 300 pounders.

 

Edited by LabattBlue
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37 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

It's funny, maybe it's generational, but I don't want more space. I want more contact. The soccer comparison was a good one, and I don't want hockey to become soccer. 

As for the nets, you don't need bigger nets if you make the pads smaller.

More contact is better, but as the league and lower levels push for safety we'll see less physicality/contact. The other issue is loss of chaos. Defensive play is so well-coached with video study and the players are so quick and big is they fill up that space so quickly. The maddening thing about Risto up until last season was how often he'd go wandering off chasing someone. Pass. Goal. If the space is even further condensed the defense will be able to threaten while still collapsing -- less chance of wandering, fewer pucks getting through and less likelihood of finding passing lanes and skaters who can drive the puck into the mess. Although -- there might be more turnovers and odd-man breaks the other way instead.

Pad size definitely needs to shrink a bit. But again, they'll fall back on player safety. Goalies do need full coverage not just for the puck, but for sticks, blades, rushes into their goal, d-men pushing forwards onto them from in front and behind, etc. And there's the size thing: a 6'7" goalie needs slightly longer pads than a 6'0" goalie so they can both move in the same manner and cover the same extent of their body --- and the goalies will quickly adapt how to use any size gear. I think an inch or two size increase in the net would allow goalies to feel plenty protected by their (smaller) pads, and challenge them to be more athletic and desperate and less schooled. They'll still play the percentages and get big and butterfly --- but that will still leave more net exposed.

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On 2/18/2021 at 11:46 AM, fiftyone said:

I thought this was going to be about shots being blocked before getting to the goalies. Anyone have any idea if more shots are blocked nowadays than it the past? Seems like it's harder than ever getting a shot through because anyone and everyone is willing to take one, but that could be completely untrue. 

Get rid of the extra equipment/armor the players wear and they won't block shots leading the goalies to have to make more saves and more shots getting through. 

 

i think the idea that Goalie equipment is too big get overblown. Alot of it is smaller then what it used to be, just look at the old pillows they used to wear on their legs. The old equipment was alot bulkier compared to today. Extra large goalie equipment doesn't necessarily help. if its over sized it can be harder to move in compared to properly sized smaller equipment.

 

The problem is, like all sports, theres always going to be an issue to be resolved because usually when a new rule goes in to supposedly change teh game for the better, coaches are working on how they can counter this new rule to make it better for their team to take advantage of. Increase goals being scored will lead to coaches coming up with a better way to defend and keep their opponents from scoring.

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