Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Thinking Four-On-Four

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

If this radical change were to be implemented me thinks the impact on the game would be both positive and profound.

—Reduction of shot blocking, which has replaced ‘obstruction’ as the games’ worst enemy

—More man on man play, less zone

—Neutral zone would become a speed zone, driving the pace of games.

—Goaltenders would have to make more saves rather than just block area. And puck moving goaltenders would be absolute necessities.

—Defensemen would be involved in attack more

—Powerplays would return to scoring ‘skill goals’ instead of the current ratio of 15% skill, 85% ‘ugly’ or accidental goals

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

 1 2 >       Next »

Avatar

No.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 02:55 PM ET

Avatar

The constant obsession with changing rules, equipment and net sizes is crazy making. Let the game find its own level and let coaches and players innovate. I can get the bigger ice argument based on player size but after that stop. Refs call clear rules and the game will run itself.

Posted by Shaun from Toronto on 01/31/12 at 03:04 PM ET

CRoy's avatar

No.

Posted by Garth

Haha my thoughts exactly. Its time to look at a bigger, international size rink. 4 on 4 to me takes the chess game out of it and gives you less options. I think its boring. I always dread overtime four on four as I don’t consider it real hockey. Face it, guys are bigger and faster and the size of the ice no longer gives these guys the room they once had out there to make plays. Give em that room without altering the game and the strategy of classic hockey.

Posted by CRoy from Redford MI on 01/31/12 at 03:06 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

I understand why Reaugh and the other people in the media are always driving this obsession with more offence, they want to see Gretzky’s records fall. But every time suggestions are put forth, they never combat the biggest reason of all why no one will ever come close to Gretzky’s records: the goaltenders no longer fuching suck. So unless you want to make it illegal for a goaltender to drop to his knees, there’s nothing that can be done to get the NHL back to the 9-7 days of the 80s.

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 01/31/12 at 03:14 PM ET

Avatar

I’m a hockey purist, but I’d like to see the game go 4-on-4. It’s time.

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 01/31/12 at 03:15 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Death to the heretic.
Go find another sport.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 03:19 PM ET

Avatar

players would never sign off on it.  It would reduce their workforce by 20%.  Bigger rinks would be great but I don’t see that happening.

Posted by tbassett on 01/31/12 at 03:20 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

I’m a hockey purist, but I’d like to see the game go 4-on-4

You put these thoughts in the same sentence.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 03:21 PM ET

Avatar

It’s time.

What does time have to do with anything?

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 03:40 PM ET

Avatar

Give em that room without altering the game and the strategy of classic hockey.

Exactly.

The only argument against bigger ice surfaces is money and it’s sad that a decision like this is ruled by money.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 03:41 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

4 on 4?  Ridiculous.  Let’s go the other way and bring back the rover.  That would really shake things up!

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 01/31/12 at 03:53 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

No.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 12:55 PM ET

Allow me to elaborate on that a little:  HELL NO.

International-sized rinks, sure.  4-on-4?  I seriously can’t stand 4-on-4 OT as it is, let alone for an entire game.  That’s certainly something that would make me consider not watching hockey.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 01/31/12 at 04:05 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

I am really sick of low-scoring baseball games.  If there were only 2 outfielders, there’d be more runs.  Let me preface this suggestion by saying I am a traditionalist, but I mean, does anyone hold this tradition close to their heart?  Probably not.  And for that matter, they should just switch to a softball so that kids can enjoy it more and fans can see it better (why not neon?).

For those top whom hockey is a pleasant diversion while waiting for some collegiate bullshit, the following is a helpful guide to inflexible numbers: 200 x 85, 4 x 6, 23, 82, 4 of 7, and last but NOT least 5.
Also, we can see the puck just fine, no need to add a highlighting glow.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 04:05 PM ET

Avatar

Guys, I got an idea!

Lets just get rid of goaltenders! Scoring would be through the roof!

Sorry Razor, that means that we no longer need former goaltenders to talk about the game…

Posted by pstumba on 01/31/12 at 04:19 PM ET

Avatar

You put these thoughts in the same sentence.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from Victoria on 01/31/12 at 01:21 PM ET

I did.

And I’m sure you were against taking the red line out, too.

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 01/31/12 at 04:22 PM ET

Avatar

It’s time.

What does time have to do with anything?

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 01:40 PM ET

Due to the speed and size of players today, there has never been less room. We need more room. How do you get it?

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 01/31/12 at 04:23 PM ET

SK77's avatar

While I understand wanting to stay five-on-five, I’m a little surprised all y’all Wings fans are vehemently against this and even saying that overtime is despised. From the majority of Wings overtime I’ve seen this year I thought it was actually great seeing them with more room to make Harlem Globetrotter-esque passes and moves on their opponents.

Major sticking point against 4-on-4 is NHLPA and losing so many jobs. Major sticking point against International rink size is owners and losing revenue (which in turn would also effect players).

In other words, we are where we are and we’re not going anywhere.

Posted by SK77 on 01/31/12 at 04:32 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

And I’m sure you were against taking the red line out, too.

Okay, that just hurts.  No I was not.  I was still playing and we were all salivating.  But this is obviously much more of a core rule.  Tinkering is fine, and important.

Anyway, I think what you meant to say is “I used to be a traditionalist…..”

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 04:32 PM ET

Avatar

And I’m sure you were against taking the red line out, too.

You’re not comparing the two.

I’m not asking, I’m telling.  You can’t compare the two.

How do you get it?

How about making more ROOM, rather than completely altering the manner in which the game is played, the number of players on the ice, the number of players on the roster and the way teams are constructed.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 04:52 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

How about making more ROOM

You guys have seen European hockey right?  The defensemen are very rarely able to pinch a puck in at the line, because the blueline is too long to walk.  Last year in exhibition, Dan Boyle, one of the very best at this, looked like a beginner.  Result: less zone time, more clearing plays.  SUCK.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 05:02 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Once in a while, I’ll catch a KHL game online and see the IIHF-spec rink in play.  While the caliber of the NHL is world’s ahead of the KHL, I can’t help but think, “What if the NHL can just try an exhibition game with the 200x100 rink?”  It’s exhibition.  Just give it a try somewhere.  Leave the rules as they are and see how it goes.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 01/31/12 at 05:04 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I think the league missed a golden opportunity to try to grandfather in the larger size ice years back when teams started building new barns to play in. The league should have started to make the ice surface the 200x100 with all the new buildings that were springing up. It obviously would have taken time to complete the process but they could have slowly increased the size of the ice while making sure the revenue stream would remain the same. They could still do it, but so many teams have new buildings now that the cycle would take longer to complete.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 01/31/12 at 05:07 PM ET

CRoy's avatar

Also, we can see the puck just fine, no need to add a highlighting glow.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from Victoria on 01/31/12 at 02:05 PM ET

I miss the Glow Puck (rolls eyes) and James Brown doing hockey analysis on Fox…(again)

While I understand wanting to stay five-on-five, I’m a little surprised all y’all Wings fans are vehemently against this and even saying that overtime is despised.

Posted by some kid on 01/31/12 at 02:32 PM ET

and dude we are Wings fans yes, and we love when they win no matter how they do it. But, were hockey fans too. We know hockey, we love hockey, and damn do we love tradition. Bending tradition for the betterment is fine, like taking out the 2 line pass, but taking away a player turns it into a different game entirely. A bigger rink turns it into somewhat of a different game, but its still recognizable… just bends tradition a little..

Posted by CRoy from Redford MI on 01/31/12 at 05:10 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Or they could, you know, call the obstruction that’s creeping back in.

Posted by Primis on 01/31/12 at 05:14 PM ET

Avatar

Last year in exhibition, Dan Boyle, one of the very best at this, looked like a beginner.

Well, there will be an adjustment period, so let’s just scrap the idea as a whole.

I’m a little surprised all y’all Wings fans are vehemently against this

We’re hockey fans first.

Without hockey as we know it, who gives a damn about any specific team?

If we want more scoring we can replace the ice with grass, change the puck into a football and make scores worth six points (seven if you can shoot the puck throw the little hole in the plywood from your own blue line), but that doesn’t mean we should do it.

I like hockey.

Every person on the ice has a reason to be there and a job to do.  If the choice is between altering the nature of the game by changing the number of players and simply changing the relatively arbitrary dimensions of the ice, I’m all for changing the ice.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 05:18 PM ET

Avatar

Or they could, you know, call the obstruction that’s creeping back in.

That would be another thing they could do that would be better than going to 4-on-4.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 05:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Or they could, you know, call the obstruction that’s creeping back in.

Posted by Primis on 01/31/12 at 03:14 PM ET

Yes.

Not sure why the hate for 4-on-4 overtime.  I really like it in five-minute segments.  I’d get used to if they went to it full-time, but I don’t like it as an idea.

What I don’t like is treating rules like in a vacuum.  Let’s get rid of the #1 problem in hockey right now, the extra-hard collisions caused by players wearing hard elbow and shoulder pads.

I’m interested to see what happens when you slow down the hitters and speed up the skaters.

Also… call obstruction for shit’s sake.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/31/12 at 05:25 PM ET

Avatar

Goaltenders would have to make more saves rather than just block area.

For the most part, the blocking goalies have left us, J.S. Guiguire has retooled his game, Patrick Lalime and Marc Denis are examples of blockers who never adapted post lock-out/strike.

And puck moving goaltenders would be absolute necessities.

Then the tapezoid has to be removed, which it should anyway.

Reduction of shot blocking, which has replaced ‘obstruction’ as the games’ worst enemy

Ths is a low correlation of teams with high shot block counts, and wins.  Think Detroit compared to the Islanders of the past few years.  Puck possession is king,

I envision less weaving to create time and space,
I see different cycling, cycling will still exist as part of the game, but less variations of it.
I also believe goaltenders line of sight will be better, with less screens.  If you don’t like screened goals, you might like 4 v 4.

Scores would be higher = more in-arena celebrations

 
Kind of like basketball.  I call it the urinal factor,
Ever go to a restroom at the end of a period at a basketball game?  There is plenty of room.  It is no big deal to miss a score.
Ever go to a the restroom at a hockey intermission?  Jammed

Posted by Cubanpuckstopper on 01/31/12 at 05:29 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

there will be an adjustment period
Nope.  Guys only move so quick.  Less pucks will be held in.  Period.

  If you don’t like screened goals
Then you might like 1-0 games.

What if the NHL can just try an exhibition game with the 200x100 rink?
They have done this, against Euro teams admittedly, two years in a row.  I guess you didn’t see those games.  Can you guess what I thought of them?  Anyway, KHL hockey is very slow, for this reason.  It’s the congestion and traffic that has caused NHL teams to start passing so much.  Even compared to five years ago, touch passing is way more common.  The KHL is like rec league with guys luggin the mail all the time.  The result is a slow game.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 05:40 PM ET

Avatar

I see “time” as the issue, as in not enough time.  Players today move faster, but not many have better control, the defenders also move faster, but don’t have to worry about control. This is leading to more devastaing hits.  High speed dump and chase isn’t any more interseting to me than the trap.

When players could run interference, without clutching and grabbing, it allowed players more time to operate. That extra time, I believe, helped the offense far more than the defense. The NHL wanted to see more goals,  but what they did was ask the players to race up and down the ice faster.

That and I have to agree, that goaltenders were truly horrible for a peirod in the 80s. We also now have defenseman block as many shots as the goaltender. If anything, make it illegal for a defender to block a shot by leaving their feet, but even that has unintended consequences, less defenders out of position..

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 01/31/12 at 05:40 PM ET

Avatar

Nope.  Guys only move so quick.  Less pucks will be held in.  Period.

Bullshit.

Players adjusted to 4-on-4, play.  Period.

Goalies adjust to the trapezoid.  Period.

Players adjust to the big ice during the Olympics.  Shit, people are praising Olympic play, and replicating that type of open play is exactly why there are people pushing for the bigger ice surface.  Period.

Hell, a lot of NHL players would love to be playing on the bigger ice surface.  Period.

You’re advocating 4-on-4 full-time, but that would take an adjustment period too.  4-on-4 play means more room, yet we’re seeing competitive play in overtime now aren’t we?

Players adjust.  That’s what they do.  They adjust on a game-by-game period based on the teams they’re facing.  Period.

Anyway, KHL hockey is very slow, for this reason.

KHL is slow partly because the average skill-level of the players is lower than the NHL.  You can’t use the KHL as an example when most of their players wouldn’t be able to hack it in the NHL of today.

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 05:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

One thing that does concern me is that the bottom-feeder teams WILL be able to slow the game to a crawl using lesser-skilled scrubs to simply use up the extra space forcing other teams to chase the puck larger distances.  Keeping the zone will be a much more important skill.

As well as skill teams would adjust, the teams that can’t keep up skill-wise will adjust defensively to slow the game back down again.

I’m not against Olympic-sized ice, but it’s a concern. 

Then again, if it becomes that big of an issue, I would suggest a change to the offsides rule that would force a team to actually CONTROL the puck outside of their own blue line in order to “clear the zone”.  That way, if you just dump it out but don’t ice it, the other team can stay in your zone while a couple of them go back to retrieve it instead of forcing the entire team to tag up.

Just spitballing here though.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/31/12 at 05:58 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

You’re advocating 4-on-4 full-time
No I’m not.  I am really against it.

Guys only move so quick.  Less pucks will be held in.  Period.

This is not up for dispute Garth.  Player adjustment or not, the wider the rink, the less pucks will be held in at the line.

KHL is slow partly because the average skill-level of the players is lower than the NHL
Nope.  They are not significantly slower skaters.  They are no doubt less skillful touch-passers, but the fact that the game speed does not require them to pass a lot, is the reason they don’t pass a lot.

people are praising Olympic play
I think that’s got more to do with flag-cheering.  There is no defence in the Olympics, because the teams don’t even practice.  That is a way bigger factor than international rules.  Besides, I found the hockey pretty poor.

You are pretty easy to annoy.  Period.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 06:01 PM ET

CRoy's avatar

OK NHL… You have a problem. Scoring is down, concussions are up, and the game isn’t holding up in tropical markets.

Lets address the source of these issues.

Scoring.
It sure as hell isn’t a lack of skill. Even your 4th line guys these days have more ability than a lot of yester-years 1st liners. They took out clutching and grabbing. Great move the game is better for it. It also had unintentional consequenses that I’ll address in concussions. All would be fine and well but at almost the same time that they cut down on interference, equipment started to get a LOT better. It used to be that only certain warriors on the squad would block shots or you saved it for the playoff because it would do some damage. Now these guys don’t really have to worry about it with the equipment that it out now. Now everyone on the team, even the stars, are blocking shots all game long. It is effectively the new trap. On top of this Goalies equipment has increased in size and they have gotten a LOT better. Goalies are also huge now, taking up much more of the net. And finally, yes you can still trap. A trapping team doesn’t give its competition much room to work and leads to low scoring affairs as well as making the game slower, taking away its exciting nature.

How do you fix it?
You can’t tell guys to stop blocking shots and you can’t tell them to go back to the old unsafe equipment. You can’t do any more to take trapping strategies out of them game, the only thing you could do is call a too many men in the neutral zone, but that would make it the NBA and it would be horseshit. What you can do is give these guys more room with a bigger ice surface and getting serious about goalie equipment size before this proportional rule that we have now turns into teams signing an offensive lineman to just stand there and take up the entire net. 4 on 4? thats roller hockey. Horseshit.

Concussions.
The NHL’s (I’m not going to say greatest here cause I’m a Wings fan) most popular star is out with a concussion and really hasn’t played in a year because of it. Thats pretty f-in bad for the game, whether I think so or not. They guy is about as marketable as you can get( i hate writing that). So what happened. Equipment got harder in hard plastic tipped shoulder and elbow pads, and the game got a hell of a lot faster due to ability and the removal of obstruction. Theres also a sociological reason here being that most of society worldwide has become more selfish and less respectful but thats for another day. People will say less fighting, causes more concussions. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.. thats a tough one.

How do you fix it?
You cant let obstruction back in. You cant cut hitting. You can give these guys more room out there which may cut down on blindside hits. They have already begun calling the game stricter on the headshots. Good for them it needs to be called that way. But of everything else, they absolutely need to work with equipment manufacturers to come up with safer pads to soften the hard blows of these hits. And Shanny I’m talking to you on this one. I hate to say this, but you have to have a standard suspension for anything deemed a headshot. It has to suck so bad to get caught that it takes it out of the game. This is just an example, but lets for fun say 10 games first offense. 20 for second offense. You think Matt Cooke would still have a job if he got caught a third time and got 30 games? Nope he simply wouldn’t do it. It wouldn’t be f-in worth it. Gonna suck to implement it. I know I wouldn’t want to be the one to do it. But you can’t tell me their all eunichs in those offices. Someone has to have some balls.

Losing money in tropical markets.
Bettman is an impatient moron. You can’t manufacture demand in a market with so much risk and seriously expect for it to work multiple times over. Bettman is an impatient moron. You have to let it grow, one tropical market at a time. There has to be demand that will be there even when they have a shitty team to watch and the novelty of “this is cool cause its new” wears off. Bettman is an impatient moron.

How do you fix it?
Do I have to say it?


(I’ve been doing homework all day so I figured why not another.)

Posted by CRoy from Redford MI on 01/31/12 at 06:06 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

almost the same time that they cut down on interference, equipment started to get a LOT better. It used to be that only certain warriors on the squad would block shots or you saved it for the playoff because it would do some damage. Now these guys don’t really have to worry about it with the equipment that it out now. Now everyone on the team, even the stars, are blocking shots all game long

I think THIS ^\ has a whole lot to do with THIS ∨

Theres also a sociological reason here being that most of society worldwide has become more selfish and less respectful

It’s called the Peltzman Effect

Basically, Stan Mikita would have been a much dirtier S.O.B. if you had put him in pads that made him feel invincible.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/31/12 at 06:17 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

How about making more ROOM

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 02:52 PM ET

And how, praytell, does one “make room”??

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/31/12 at 06:21 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Anyway, I think what you meant to say is “I used to be a traditionalist…..”

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from Victoria on 01/31/12 at 02:32 PM ET

Not at all. Years ago I was called a “non-traditionalist” for believing the red line was no longer needed.

Now a traditionalist likes the game without the red line.

Movable goalposts.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/31/12 at 06:22 PM ET

Avatar

This is not up for dispute Garth.

It certainly is.  There are no absolutes here.  You can’t simply say that it will happen when you have no evidence.

I don’t remember anyone complaining that too many pucks were cleared during the Olympics.

Again, players will adjust.  That’s what they do.

I think that’s got more to do with flag-cheering.

Good for you, but even players on shitty teams that didn’t win anything liked the bigger ice surface.  That has little to do with flag-waving.

They are not significantly slower skaters.

Where did I say that they were?

You are pretty easy to annoy.  Period.

Wow, wrong again.  I’m having fun.

This really isn’t your day, is it?

And how, praytell, does one “make room”??

Larger ice surface.

Any other condescending, rhetorical questions that can be answered easily by employing the simplest of logic?

Posted by Garth on 01/31/12 at 06:29 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Try cutting players on ice when Don Fehr is running the NHLPA! hahahaha Deathwish !

Posted by Evilpens on 01/31/12 at 06:43 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Ouch.  My day is fine.  You sounded pretty annoyed as you took my words and repeatedly slammed me with them.  Glad I misread your mood.

I haven’t heard anyhting about players preferring larger ice.  Players enjoying the Olympics is not quite the same thing.
About the KHL, you said it is slower because the guys aren’t as good.  I think I broke that down and addressed it.

I don’t need any proof that it is harder to cover a larger piece of ice.  Not hearing complaints about the Olympic format hardly defeats my point.

We started out on the same side of this.  Any other phrasings you want to quibble with?  Or perhaps you can point out where I have been condescending, because I have no wish to be.

You can give these guys more room out there which may cut down on blindside hits.
You make a pretty strong case, though I am really not feeling it, but I think the cost prohibition makes this a moot point.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/31/12 at 04:22 PM ET Again….I know my sweeping statements aren’t favored here, but you just can’t call yourself a traditionalist AND advocate for 4 skaters.  Sorry.  Not questioning the integrity of your hockey love, just semantics.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 06:47 PM ET

 1 2 >       Next »

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com