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Boring Hockey

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

At the risk of being accused of being un-Canadian or unpatriotic, I continue to maintain that, in my opinion, the majority of games during these NHL playoffs have been a bore.

Game 5 of the New Jersey-New York Rangers game Wednesday night was certainly better than most, but most playoff games are all about teams choking the life out of each other. And you get the dump-ins, clogging of the neutral zones, cycling on the boards, blocked shots and bouncing pucks on lousy ice. And not a lot of flow. To top it off, it’s hockey being played in late May. None of that does it for me.

I’m a hockey guy. I grew up loving the game. I have two missing front teeth, a scar over my left eye and slightly deformed shoulder as a result of my mediocre hockey pursuits.

But, to me, the NHL game has largely become a yawn.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink



I too am a long time fan who yearns for the old days. And i thought we were returning to that time just a few years ago. With obstruction penalties being enforced and no two line pass it seemed that the league had created space for players without phsically making the rink bigger. But your last point hit it right on the mark. The refs have been awful all year.  Why have 2 refs when they called less penalties than the year before the lockout. What a dysfunctioal sports league the NHL has become.

Posted by Patrick Oneill from Yonkers NY on 05/24/12 at 10:31 PM ET


A lot of changes designed to improve the game have not succeeded. A humble suggestion - require players use wooden sticks.  Players sticks have become so active / good defensively that the game has become game of bad bounces.  Composite sticks are the biggest big reason.  Go back to wood.

Posted by Jonesie on 05/25/12 at 12:16 AM ET

awould's avatar

In my opinion, the only solution to permanently improve the flowmof the game, showcase talent and skill and open up the ice for more scoring is to increase the size of the ice.

Posted by awould on 05/25/12 at 01:10 AM ET


Wood sticks and bigger ice will never happen because of economics. Call the game the way it was being called and hold the refs accountable. Also shrink the goalie gear, reward teams who want to create offense and shoot with something to shoot at. I agree in a perfect world we could expand the ice and play with wood sticks and everything would be fine but those options are never gonna happen. Please NHL call hooks and holds and interference, get rid of the defensive zone hand pass and stop players laying on the puck to stop the play. And just shrink the goalie gear already.

Posted by Patrick Oneill from Yonkers NY on 05/25/12 at 02:56 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Increasing the size of the ice leading to more scoring is a myth. Watch a professional game from one of the top European leagues where the talent is still a fairly high level, and look at how NHL players that played in Europe for a time need time to adjust getting back on the small ice. The big ice makes for more passing but that’s because there is more time. The game doesn’t move as fast, and that goes for everyone, including defenseman and goalies.

There are other arguments for bigger ice—could help slow the game down, thus reducing injuries; more space might slow the game down, but it would encourage teams to carry the puck up ice and pass through the neutral zone more instead of dumping in because there’s no space to work.

I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I believe expecting it to increase scoring is a pipe dream.

Oh, and the NHL clubs would never go for it because it would cost them a few rows of the priciest seats in the arena.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/25/12 at 09:50 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Maybe Steve Buffery should have watched some of the Western games.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/25/12 at 10:23 AM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Posted by Patrick Oneill from Yonkers NY on 05/25/12 at 01:56 AM ET

You said it exactly.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 05/25/12 at 12:02 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

I only wish for one change to the game: Take out the trapezoid. You’ll get excitement guaranteed for that one.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 05/25/12 at 12:22 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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