FanDuel - WFBC

April 03, 2005

New Nets?????: Who really thinks this will happen?

posted by Jimbob1077 to hockey at 11:18 AM - 20 comments

The only reason players arent scoring as much now is that goalies have caught up with the skill level of players. Players dont have as many tricks to fool goalies as we used to. (im a player myself)

posted by Jimbob1077 at 11:21 AM on April 03

Why would you presume that the NHL's old free-scoring days were a result of goalies being less skilled than position players? I blame the lower scoring on larger goalie padding, the neutral zone trap, and other clutch-and-grab defensive play. The new goal shape is a little hard to look at, but if they're not going to expand the ice to open things up, I wouldn't mind seeing it. That picture has to be terrifying to a goalie, though.

posted by rcade at 11:32 AM on April 03

Here's a good reason to consider the rapid rise in skill of goalies as a reason for lower scoring -- lots of NHL players and goalies think it's true. While a lot of it can be blamed on defensive strategies and the larger goalie equipment (which in my mind HAS to be cut back), watching goalie play from the 70s and 80s is almost painful now. You either rushed out of the net to cut down the angle or you used the butterfly to cover as much net as possible. Now these guys are just as skilled and conditioned as the remainer of the players, and perhaps even better trained. What's the answer? Bigger ice surface, smaller goalie equipment ... and calling the friggin' rulebook!

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:08 PM on April 03

I remember watching highlight films from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and players were scoring goals that looked REALLY weak. They weren't top corner shots or blistering slapshots, they were wristshots from the point and shots along the ice. Nowadays, goalies are bigger and faster and can get down in the butterfly and still get their shoulders in the way of the higher shots. The oversized equipment and the defensive strategies definitely play a part in it, but I believe the last 15 years have been the golden age of goalies. Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, Hasek, Joseph...just a few off the top of my head that I think would have dominated a league in the manner that Dryden did in the 1970s.

posted by grum@work at 12:30 PM on April 03

It is a moot point at this time don't you think? If the owners and players can't get it together they can have a 10x10 net and it won't matter. They are commiting fan base suicide now anyway.

posted by tdheiland at 01:11 PM on April 03

Did you guys notice the dateline on that story Also, how could the team have shown off blue ice two weeks ago as mentioned in the story since there haven't been any games?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:55 PM on April 03

It is a moot point at this time don't you think? Yup. And if they get back on the ice, the players and owners will have other things to worry about. Right now they just have to worry about playing again. If the league wants new goals, just give 'em a couple sawhorses and some chicken wire.

posted by roberts at 01:56 PM on April 03

Also, how could the team have shown off blue ice two weeks ago as mentioned in the story since there haven't been any games? It was for their "farm" team, the Rochester Americans.

posted by jasonspaceman at 04:16 PM on April 03

What is this "hockey" category?

posted by blarp at 04:59 PM on April 03

It'll be hell to regulate the exact curvature, and frankly I can't see this in the NHL anyways, but at this point, any net they actually use is fine by me.

posted by chicobangs at 05:06 PM on April 03

re: net change - a 'solution' that is attacking the scoring 'problem' from the wrong angle. excellent points re: improved goalie play as the primary reason for lower scoring in conjunction with the symbiotic benefits of stricter defensive schemes. still, i would argue goalies today have to contend with far fewer 'dangerous' situations per game, and therefore would categorize tighter play as the main culprit of the scoring recession.

posted by garfield at 05:14 PM on April 03

I heard of the the modified nets thing a day or two before April Fools. I could see it being adopted but I would personally put it well behind things like calling the rules more rigidly and putting restrictions on goalie equipment.

posted by gspm at 08:47 PM on April 03

All this will change is the score. Goals don't make the game exciting. Scoring chances do. They should focus on real changes rather than cosmetic ones.

posted by Succa at 10:39 PM on April 03

Seriously, what the fuck are they thinking? This smacks of unnecessary desperation to make the game appeal to people who have no genuine interest in hockey to begin with. This isn't like just lowering the pitching mound, or letting players use lighter and bigger rackets, it's radical, and completely unnecessary. It makes it seem like the fundamental set-up of the game has some serious crediblilty issues, like the game wasn't right to begin with. Just a bad message to send and idea in general. Like bad huckstering - "Hey, it's a great product, the best there is, but if you don't like it we'll just change it." Maybe it's just a set-up so the goalies will be more recepetive to a reduction in equipment size, which would probably have the same effect as widening the nets would anyway. Bring back the tag-up offside and I think it won't be so bad. But for God's sake have you no self-respect?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:21 PM on April 03

Here's a way to increase scoring; allow goalies all the pads they want, same sized nets...but they have to lose an arm. With a buzzsaw. Make it reality TV. We'll see a decline in both the abilities of the goalies and the number of talented goaltenders wanting to play. Scoring for all!

posted by dfleming at 09:28 AM on April 04

Weedy: You could have said the same thing about the introduction of the three-point line in basketball, the designated hitter in baseball, and the two-point conversion in football. Pro sports change. Of all the sports that should be most willing to consider radical change to draw a better audience, the NHL ought to top the list. Even before the lockout, the league was in trouble because the game wasn't as exciting as it used to be.

posted by rcade at 12:19 PM on April 04

I don't know rcade I thought about those things and I'm not so sure it's cut and dried like that - those things you mention affect the strategy of how to play the game, but this to me is more akin to lowering the basket, or shortening the base paths or taking yards off the field. Though I agree that the NHL needs to do 'something' to help attract audiences (specifically TV audiences - arena audiences aren't that big of a problem) this runs the risk of doing just that at the expense of the true fan base, the people who respect the traditions and all that gooey romantic stuff. I think it's short-sighted. Maybe I'm overreacting, but it seems comical. Make the goalie equipment smaller (it's the one thing that actually has changed from the high-scoring era to now) and bite the bullet and build bigger rinks - lose some of that ticket revenue for a better product. This is like radical, yet cosmetic surgery.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:47 PM on April 04

Still seems like an Aprils Fools prank to me.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:35 PM on April 04

Take out the blue line and the 2 line pass rule, and encourage breakaways. If they want to make the game more exciting, the last thing they need to do is make it easier to score from a distance. The curved nets will help guys hitting a slapshot, not the guy trying to sqeeze it through the pads. 5-6 more 3-2 situations will lead to more goals being scored, or at the very least more exciting play.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 04:59 PM on April 04

Making the nets bigger is stupid. They tried this in lacrosse a few years ago. Instead of getting a lot more goals (in a sport I thought had enough already), they got teams who tried to be more conscious defensively. If hockey needs scoring then they have to encourage offense. They need to make the goalies' equipment smaller too. (Can't your average goalie's catcher hold a basketball or two now?) But primarily, they need to give players and coaches a reason to try to score more goals in a game that they're leading 1-0 in the 2nd period.

posted by fabulon7 at 01:43 PM on April 06

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