Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New Hockey vs Classic Hockey

Count me as a fan who's pretty optimistic and excited about the NEW NHL that's beginning play again after that looooooong dismal lockout winter of our discontent. Well the sun's finally coming up and I for one really like the new financial setup, the new rules to open up the game and the new scheduling that has rivals playing each other more than ever before. I know there's many that strongly disagree but I get the sense that most fans are cautiously optimistic and like myself are willing to at least give the NEW NHL a chance with these changes.

However there is a fairly large segment of fans out there that want no part of this New NHL and already are pining for the old days and the old style of play that was the league just before the lockout.
"...as I survey the new NHL, with its newfangled rules and wacky schedule, I have a great amount of skepticism. Is this still the sport I grew up loving? Or is it something much different and not as good?
Just having the skates back on isn’t enough; the NHL still has to convince us traditionalists that the lost time and bickering have been for the better.

Kris Draper said. “Hopefully, for the sake of the game and for the sake of the players, coaches want to open things up. Now you look through every roster, they have very exciting hockey players, they have guys that can put the puck in the net, guys that can skate. Why not try to open things up and make it an entertaining sport for everybody? I think that’s going to have to be the case.”

"All of which leaves those of us who liked defensive-minded, goaltender-driven battles out in the cold."

"... Some of us enjoyed fight-filled games with forechecking and left-wing locks. Some of us liked a good St. Louis-Boston match, something that won’t happen this season. Some of us are skeptical we’ll ever see our beloved sport again".
So it looks like we might have a New Coke vs Classic Coke kind of situation shaping up here with fans of the sport. The difference this time I think as it pertains to Hockey is that the NEW version is going to kick butt over the so-called CLASSIC version.

The early reports have been very encouraging. There's this >>> one on the recent Philly vs Atlanta game.
Those who don't believe the changes being made in hockey won't be better for the game didn't see the exhibition game between the Atlanta Thrashers and Philadelphia Flyers.

...Forget the 14 goals. The game provided a glimpse into how the game is supposed to look. Quick-paced with plenty of skating and skill, there were long passes, quick breaks.

It had enough hitting to satisfy those who crave physical contact but it lacked the clutching and grabbing that slowed the game down. And for those who believe you can't teach an old dog new tricks, they would have been surprised to see players about to revert to the old hook-'em-and-hold-'em routine pull back when they realized they'd be slapped with a penalty.
...and then there's this other >>> one out of Toronto.
The basics of a much, much improved NHL game were on display for the first time in T.O. last night, and there was an awful lot to like and very few people prepared to complain.

There was none of that lazy hooking and tugging, and a surprising amount of hitting for a pre-season tilt, won 5-2 by the Ottawa Senators over the Maple Leafs.
Everybody seems pretty happy so far except >>> this guy <<< but hey if I was him I'd be bummed too.

Initial taste tests seem to confirm it's NEW NHL over Classic NHL... but it's still early in the contest.

Stay tuned.


Bryant said...

I'm with you. I don't care if scoring increases or not. (I didn't even notice the downturn in goals.) I love the game because if its fast pace and if it gets faster and tougher then all the better. I like watching goaltenders make spectacular saves about as much as seeing a goal. Looks like they'll be seeing more pucks coming their way. The only thing I don't like is that they took away the goaltender's ability to handle the puck. They could have done something better like not letting him pass the puck over the defending blue line or something.

br. t. said...

Yeah, I totally agree with you bryant about what they've done to handcuff the goalies. I think you might see more D-men getting injured because of the goalies not being able to help them out anymore.