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Member Since 18 Jan 2013
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#2639574 Bigger nets ?

Posted by Aethernum on Yesterday, 05:11 PM

Hockey fans are notoriously protective of their game, I think to a fault. We're not talking about dramatically changing the game so that every team is scoring 5+ goals per game; we're talking about adding an inch or two to the outside of the nets so that goals go from 4 per game to 4.5. 


Here's why this is important - not because people can't enjoy 1-0 or 2-1 games, but rather because higher scoring means more involvement from your star players. Imagine if scoring were to go up a half a goal per game, on average. Who is going to be the primary beneficiary of that extra half a goal per game? It's going to be the Crosbys, the Ovechkins, the Kanes of the NHL. The star players on the highest end of the skill bell-curve who, currently, are limited by the defensive nature of the game. And let's not forget - "the game we love" is at a scoring low that hasn't been seen in decades. Today's hockey is NOT the hockey you grew up with.


Getting the high-skill players more involved in the game is a good thing. It means higher profile, more valuable star players. That helps grow the game. You want increased separation between the best players and their more average counterparts, because the average fan doesn't see how, say, Stamkos is more valuable to his team than, say, Tatar is to ours unless he's scoring more goals. Experienced fans recognize how the more skilled players generate more chances and play better two-way games, but it's not the same, and catering to the hard-core fans doesn't grow the game. Boosting the profile of the highest-skilled by rewarding their talents with an extra few goals per month helps the casual fan understand the contributions of the top-end guys. That matters.


No one is saying 1-0 games can't be great. But too often 1-0 games are master classes in poor passing, shots that never make it to the net, and scoring chances that fall an inch short of panning out. Do I enjoy 7-6 games? Not particularly. But I'd rather watch a game with no defense than no offense.


You want to go back to the good ol' days of 80s and 90s hockey? You're not going to see the fights and injury-ending hits come back. Those are gone for good. The only way to bring back "the game I grew up with" is to increase scoring.


Now, how do you do that? There are a few ways:


1. Increase the size of the ice: Opening up the ice will generate more scoring chances, but at what cost? Three rows (at least) would disappear from every lower bowl in the league. There would be less physical play along the boards and more passing back and forth in open ice. And 3v3 overtime? Forget it. The game is already open enough in 3v3, can you imagine playing that same game on Olympic ice? If we're okay with going back to 4v4 OT, then I would see this as, possibly, a viable option, but there's not a whole lot of evidence that opening up the size of the ice will even do that much to affect scoring. Certainly not enough evidence to justify the massive financial costs that would be incurred not just to NHL arenas, but arenas around the country.


2. Call more penalties: This just trains fans to watch for scoring during PPs, and to tune out the rest of the game. We need to increase the scoring on 5v5.


3. Make Power Plays a 4-on-3 situation rather than a 5-on-4 situation: Same problem as above, and this is a FAR more drastic change to the game than tweaking net size.


4. Move the blue lines/eliminate the trapezoid: These changes fall under the "making defensive zone players put their sticks down second" category. That is, the category of changes that make it look like you're addressing the problem without actually addressing the problem. Moving the blue lines isn't going to notably increase scoring, same with getting rid of the trapezoid. Oh, and both of those suggestions impacts the way the game is played much more dramatically than a little net size tweaking.


5. Decrease the size of goalie equipment: I understand the sentiment behind this change, but do you know what happened the last time we tried this? Goalie equipment actually got bigger. Here's why: Bigger netminders still need to be fully protected. So when we last tried shrinking goalie equipment, goalies across the league had their equipment redrawn to dimensions that more closely fit their bodies. This gave a more distinct advantage to larger goalies. People figured this out, and started looking for big, athletic bodies to fill the net. Smaller goalie equipment really just means a bigger difference between the size of goaltending equipment for smaller goalies and bigger goalies. So as a result, shrinking the size of goalie equipment just means giving bigger goaltenders a larger advantage, which means more big goaltenders, which actually means bigger equipment on average. 


6. Increase the size of the nets: Move to soccer sized nets!!! Fundamentally change the game!!! Really? Here's my suggestion: Make the nets two inches taller, and four inches wider. You don't think that will change scoring? Imagine if every shot that has rung off the post this season for Detroit had gone in. You're talking about an extra goal per game, no more no less, and without changing anything about the nature of the way the game is played. The only change is that an extra half a shot to a shot per game is going to go in, rather than ringing off the post. The nice thing about changing the size of the nets is that there's actually a few ways to do this. You can make the nets themselves larger, OR you can do what Patrick Roy suggested and just make the goalposts smaller. Instead of, what, 2" goalposts (?), you make goalposts an inch or an inch and a half smaller. Nothing about the nets themselves has to change. Or you can make the nets like 3% bigger and not have a panic attack about it. This is a gimmick, but going to 4v3 power plays isn't? This is a fundamental change to the game, but changing the location of the lines isn't? It's too difficult to replace all the nets in the NHL, but not to do renovations on every arena in the league to increase ice size?


I don't get it. Increasing the size of the nets by an inch will bump up scoring without fundamentally changing the way the game is played. And bumping up scoring will grow the game by letting star players do their thing. Give players a realistic shot at getting to 100 points in a season again. We're not asking for every game to be 7-6. We're saying maybe a few more 3-2 games than 2-1 games. Oh, and we're also talking less overtime, fewer shootouts, and (best of all) fewer loser points. I don't see the drawback. Maybe I'm still in love with the hockey of the late-80s and early-90s, because THAT'S the hockey that I grew up with, and increasing the size of the nets takes us the tiniest little tip-toe back in that direction. 


I suppose when it comes down to it, I just don't understand people who insist that increasing scoring is a fundamental change to the game. The game IS fundamentally changing. We're at lower levels of scoring now than we've seen in DECADES. And we're apparently willing to move around the blue lines, make our goalies less safe, or, hell, even force every rink in the league to change its dimensions and eliminating seating before we're willing to say, "Uhhh, hey, what if we made the nets like an inch bigger?"


Someone explain to me why I'm wrong.

#2639535 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by Wheelchairsuperhero on Yesterday, 12:24 PM

Wings dominated this game, I don't see much to complain about. Boston stole it, Mrazek couldn't make some key saves. These things will happen even to the best teams.

#2639506 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by rick zombo on 25 November 2015 - 11:04 PM

I think some of you are over-analyzing this a bit. Wings owned this game, Monster was hot, and Mrazek was sub-par. Which rarely happens. This team just beat LA, St.Louis, and should have won tonight. Leave the lines alone for now.

#2639481 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by DRW Dominance on 25 November 2015 - 10:07 PM

No idea how we lost that game

#2639476 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by chicagooverrated on 25 November 2015 - 10:06 PM

Good news guys we dominated and lost. ... the 2009 wings are back!

#2639467 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by e_prime on 25 November 2015 - 10:03 PM

Plenty of opportunities to put this game away.  Could not do it.

#2639406 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by Y19 on 25 November 2015 - 09:35 PM

Probably better that Z take that penalty.  Would have walked in all alone.

#2639384 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by TheXym on 25 November 2015 - 08:54 PM

Helm and Kronwall with the assists? Sounded like that's what the announcer said. Yep, Ken just confirmed it.

#2639359 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by TheXym on 25 November 2015 - 08:32 PM

Pavel! Congrats on goal number 300 of your career!

#2639346 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by TheXym on 25 November 2015 - 08:06 PM

Caught a break with the power play. Time to deke Gustavsson so hard he pulls a groin. (I actually like the guy, but F the Bruins).

#2639343 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by TheXym on 25 November 2015 - 08:03 PM

How did they not call Krug for piling on Larkin like that?

#2639327 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by NerveDamage on 25 November 2015 - 07:40 PM

And Here We Go!

Hmm, I probably should change my sig......

haha I was going to say that... So, are you gonna add Ferraro?

#2639322 11/25 GDT : Boston Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 EST

Posted by sjr2012 on 25 November 2015 - 07:08 PM

*grabs popcorn*

holy s*** this might be more entertaining than the game 

#2639239 Dreger: Ryan Johanson is in play

Posted by rick zombo on 25 November 2015 - 09:15 AM


Should the Wings get him ? If the price is right yes. But prices for  #1 D-Man are crazy these days and I doubt that Holland will part ways with Larkin,Mantha or any other top talent. And rightfully so.


Forgive me if I'm misreading your quote, but Johansen's a forward.

#2639236 Goalie Battle

Posted by krsmith17 on 25 November 2015 - 07:28 AM

V.T.? Hmmm... Vesa Toskala? I doubt he'll be able to teach Mrazek a whole lot, unless it's learning how to let in shots from behind the oppositions goal line...


Or maybe you're talking about Vladislav Tretiak... Do you really think a 63 year old that hasn't played professionally in over 30 years would be able to teach Mrazek to play in today's game? I doubt he'd have a whole lot to offer to be honest... Jim Bedard seems to be doing just fine with Mrazek.