Homer: Do you want it done right or do you want it done fast?
Marge: Like most Americans, I want it done fast!
That may not quite get at it, but it’s about where we are with the new rules for the 05-06 season. You can check out the video explanations here. It’s enough to turn a fan’s stomach. If you don’t care to look, I’ll summarize the new rules below:
Defense is basically a punishable offense. Don’t even bother trying to defend. You’ll end up in the box.
The attacking/defending zones are four feet longer, taking two feet each from the neutral zone and the area behind the nets. Add to this the fact that,
Goalies are no longer allowed to play the puck in the corners. Behind the net they’re now restricted to the newly-developed “trapezoid zone,” the breaching of which earns them, wait for it, a two-minute minor.
The red centerline is now a decorative memorial to an earlier day when it actually meant something. That’s right, it’s only there for show. Gone are the days of the two-line pass.
Ties are now also a thing of the past. There will be a winner in every match, decided, if necessary, by a shootout. Someone’s going to come away from each one with two points, even if it kills us.
What’s the point of all this, you ask? Simple. Apparently hockey wasn’t gratifying enough to the fans. They wanted to see hockey games with football scores. They prefer to watch marquee players score goals rather than teams functioning as well-oiled machines; dump-and-chase goalfests over blood-and-guts zero-zero ties where you knew getting that far was a tremendous feat.
This is just going to do for hockey what the NBA has done for basketball.