Homer, Marge, and the NHL

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.

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4 Responses to Homer, Marge, and the NHL

  1. …and also what Bud selig and the steroid-happy MLB has done for baseball. In each sport, the game has taken a backseat to the low brow fan’s never-ending lust for excitement and adrenaline over strategy, teamwork, and true athleticism. You’re right. It is a shame

  2. Anoki Ha Ish says:

    I’m sorry. This has to be a pretty big hit for you. Perhaps it will be a miserable failure? There’s always college hockey.

    P.S. Sign me up for the Fantasy league. I figure that I can draft all the Red Wings and/or Blues and make someone upset.

  3. OSC says:

    Ok. You’re in.

    And my feelings are mixed, honestly. The purist in me wants it to fail miserably, but I also would very much like to see the NHL continue. All the same, we’ve got minor league hockey here, and I can see about six games here for the price of one in an NHL arena. And to the best of my knowledge there will be no further tampering with the rules at this level.

  4. A says:

    Yeah – hockey is going to suck, but, like many other long suffering fans, we will still love it because, at the end of the day, what those guys do on ice is one of the coolest things in the world.
    Peace.

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