Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/17/14 at 12:25 PM ET
from Paul Grant of ESPN,
It might be blasphemous to say on the NHL page, but hockey at the Olympics is better in so many ways than it is in the NHL. Seven ways I'm backing that up:
- The shootout. Let's start with the most contentious issue. NHL GMs complain that they don't like games to be settled by the coin flip that is a glorified skills competition. Reminder: The idea of the game is to entertain the fans with displays of amazing skills and talent. Sure, it's a profession for the players -- but it's a pastime for the fans....
- Bigger ice. Because greed doesn't rule, the games at the Olympics (outside of North America) are played on the bigger ice, the way it should be. The 200x85 surface was fine for when the average size of the players in the NHL was 6 feet and under, but those days are long gone. More space (Olympics ice is 200x100) means more creativity, more scoring chances, more emphasis on strategy, less boring play such as digging in the corners or fighting for the puck along the boards or dumping-and-chasing. This is especially evident during overtime, which is 4-on-4.
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