Return with us now puck fans to those thrilling days of yesteryear where hockey was played on wide open spaces and scoring, comebacks and excitement ruled the day.
"It's a new game, a totally new game," Ian Laperriere of the Colorado Avalanche said. "This is what the fans said they wanted, and they've got it."Well, so far it's playing to mostly rave reviews and buffo box office.
The NHL proudly boasted that five teams had already overcome two-goal disadvantages, a rarity in previous seasons when obstruction ruled, and 10 go-ahead goals had been scored in the final five minutes of the third period.
"The game is going back and forth a lot quicker," Colorado captain Joe Sakic said. "The players love it and I hope the fans do."
STAR SEARCH 2K5
The new NHL rule changes are even impacting the way hockey scouts evaluate talent now.
The question arises: Do the radical changes in the game mean scouts will be looking for a different type of player in the future? With a premium on skill rather than size? Has the ship come in for special, diminutive players in the mould of Martin St-Louis?It looks like the small and speedy are going to have a real chance for a change in the new NHL.
"You're asking the right question," says John Stanton, an amateur scout with the Los Angeles Kings. "We are looking at that, big time."
GAME RECAPS for 10-12-05
GOAL SCORING PER GAME:
1986-87 - 7.4 - The Golden Era
2003-04 - 5.1 - The Dead Puck Era
10/11/5 - 6.2 - Last night's games