....the true victims so far, caught in the collateral damage of the NHL's new unobstructed path to offensive nirvana are the defencemen.Senators defenceman Chris Phillips:
"Playing our position is a lot harder than it was."Here's another thing defencemen have to contend with now:
Body position and fundamentals take on even added importance for defencemen.
If the rules continue to be called this way, the qualities scouts look for in defenceman will be re-ordered.
"Already, it's changing what we look for in defencemen," said one NHL scout watching last night's game. "The two most important qualities now are quick feet," he said, and tapping his temple: "A quick mind."
Forecheckers that are no longer being held up under the new rules are free to come blasting into the corners on D-men retrieving pucks.
Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock made the point the other day defenceman are going to start letting the forward get in their first on purpose and turn the tables on them.Now there's an example of that "quick mind" quality the NHL is looking for from their defensive players these days.
The defencemen need to take it out on somebody.
The goalies also feel that "open season" has been declared on them and they're tired of being run in their creases.
"The forwards are really taking advantage of this right now," Brodeur said yesterday in a phone interview. "They know everybody now can be a tough guy in front of the net. You don't pay the price anymore. That used to be a tough job, standing in front of the net, but now everybody can go. And they're taking liberties."It's too bad the goalies can't come up with something as innovative to get back at their tormenters as the D-men have. I guess they might not be as "quick minded" as their blueliners are... otherwise I guess if they were they wouldn't be goalies.
GAME RECAPS for 10-13-05
GOAL SCORING PER GAME:
1986-87 - 7.4 - The Golden Era
2003-04 - 5.1 - The Dead Puck Era
10/13/5 - 6.8 - Last night's games