Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Bigger Nets Experiment

The NHL toyed a little with some different versions of larger nets during last seasons pre-camp sessions and this year they're back at it again.
The future has been on display at the Ricoh Coliseum for the last few days -- and not just in the form of players.

Granted, the rookies are there for a four-team tournament, but perhaps more importantly, the games are being played using the wider net that is almost certainly destined to come to the National Hockey League [...]

So, if you believe that after a full season, the players finally have realized that the crackdown is here to stay, then you also have to believe that there will be fewer power plays. And therefore, the scoring drought will once again be a problem.

Anticipating this development, the league is evaluating further changes that will improve the offensive aspect of the game. That is why the experiment with the larger nets is under way. They are eight inches wider than the standard six feet, and are six inches higher.

That extra six square feet should provide the scoring increase that most fans covet. But if the league decides to make these nets a part of the regular season, there will be an inevitable backlash from the purists. Although roughly 80% of the fans approved of last year's rule changes, there were still some vocal critics.

(my emphasis)
You betcha there'll be some vocal critics. Lots of them.

But I won't be one of them. Personally, I feel the time has come.

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