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Do Not Cross The Blue Line

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

My recent chat with Mike Milbury about dwindling NHL goal scoring regenerated one of my old ideas about how to pump up the scoring volume.

At even strength, five-on-five, teams in their defensive end always have an advantage because they are defending their net with six bodies (five skaters and one goalie). Seems to me, the obvious way to open up the game in those situations would be to prohibit teams from having five skaters in their defensive end.

Ergo, the team with the puck would attack in the offensive end with five skaters and be resisted by five defenders: four skaters and one goalie. What of that fifth “defensive’’ player? He would be forced to remain outside his own blue line, in the neutral zone.

The immediate effect would be attacking teams having significantly more room to create in the offensive zone. The hidden benefit, and perhaps the most exciting, would be that teams skilled in puck repossession in their own end (hello, Bruins) would develop a knack for wiring breakaway passes to that one player outside the zone. During a 60-minute game, we might see a handful of thrilling breakaways.

So sign me up. Anyone else on board?

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


BrendonTO's avatar

Dumb!!! I’m all for making tweaks (big fan of the elimination of the 2-line pass) but this is getting ridiculous. Asking Mike Milbury for any kind of hockey-related advice is also clearly ridiculous, even if the idea above was the author’s.

Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but there are certain fundamental aspects of the game that shouldn’t be touched. You want to up the amount of goals scored? Why not take goalies out of the game?? It would work!!

At the end of the day, it’s mostly coaching that determines how wide-open play is/can be.

Posted by BrendonTO on 03/03/13 at 10:35 AM ET

Paul's avatar

BrendonR, I agree. I can only see mass confusion if something like this was implemented.

Who watches the guy, if someone goes out can another come in are things that came to me after reading this.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/03/13 at 10:38 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

And in baseball they should just make the ninth inning into a home run derby.

And in football you shouldn’t be allowed to send a player more than 20 yards downfield on punt coverage before the other team’s guy catches the ball.

Maybe they could introduce a second ball to soccer where both are constantly in play?

While we’re talking about not crossing lines, perhaps KPD should be made aware of the line between innovation and gimmickry.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/03/13 at 10:48 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

[comic book guy] WORST IDEA EVERRRRRRRRR![/comic book guy]

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/03/13 at 11:03 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

So, basically, they want the game to become:

90% powerplays
10% breakaways

Might as well take out the neutral zone and the blue line, would pretty much acomplish the same results…

Posted by Zqto on 03/03/13 at 11:43 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

Maybe we should just go futher and go to “gym-class” rules, you know, only the center can cross the red line, there is no blue-line so it’s 3 on 3 in the offensive zone.  rolleyes

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/03/13 at 11:49 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

And in football you shouldn’t be allowed to send a player more than 20 yards downfield on punt coverage before the other team’s guy catches the ball.

To be fair; the NFL is toying with the idea of removing kickoffs as a ludicrously ineffective bandaid for one of their problems (injuries, concussions) they don’t really want to properly address so this isn’t solely the province of hockey.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/03/13 at 01:12 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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