Kukla's Korner

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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


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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tuxedoTshirt's avatar

When you say condescending you mean stuff like this right?

You’re not comparing the two.  I’m not asking, I’m telling.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/31/12 at 07:00 PM ET

CRoy's avatar

It’s called the Peltzman Effect

Thanks JJ. Always felt it, never had a name for it or just thought I was crazy. Cool read.

Posted by CRoy from Plymouth MI on 01/31/12 at 07:06 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I think this suggestion is the result of misidentifying the real problem with the NHL (if there is one).  Many seem to think that it’s scoring related, that despite the lockout changes there still is just not enough scoring.  I disagree and I think more goals won’t necessarily make the game better in the sense it is more exciting to the fans.  What makes a game exciting to me is physicality (hitting), great plays at both ends (not necessarily where a goal is scored), and fantastic goal-tending (displaying the goalies athletic ability).  If a game ends even 6-1 for my team, don’t get me wrong I’m happy.  However, it doesn’t necessarily mean I enjoyed the game.  In fact its about 50-50 in such games where I say to myself, “Wow, what a game!”

I feel the game has taken in regards to physicality not just because of the rule changes, but of the head-hit stuff in particular.  There was already a rule called charging that would’ve solved most of the controversial hits.  I don’t think simply because a guy makes contact with the head on hit it means that it should be illegal.  If the refs simply called charging the effect would be similar without the fear players have been forced to feel regarding hitting.  Most of the incidents of hitting that create the injuries are due to players taking “runs” at their fellow players (Cooke, Richards, Torres, Cough Cough).  Otherwise, the injuries result from when a player doesn’t know when to let up near the boards (which can be solved by boarding calls). Moreover, physicality has been reduced with the refs trying to clean up scrums to much.  I appreciate the motivation to speed up the game for us but I want to see this stuff escalate (if it was allowed to).  Not necessarily for the re-emergence of goons but simply to get more passion/emotion to be exhibited.  There’s no personality in the game anymore because of this I feel.  The only emotion we see is when Cindy cries to the refs.

The misconception perpetuated too much is that there still is a lack of scoring that makes games boring.  Wrong.  What makes games exciting is scoring chances or plays.  This makes things problematic because the cause of such usually is poor defense.  Whether there is a strong correlation between the two can be debated.  I don’t think there is anything that can be done administratively that can improve this either.  4-4 does nothing for the game.  The NHL is so great because it’s the best players in the world brought together in a smaller (compared to the Euros) environment.  I don’t think anymore offensive creativity is on display when players tend to play on the perimeter.  The smaller rink forces players to go to the net as well as establishes better individual puck skills because the play is in tight.  The shootout should remain though because I don’t care if games are decided by the individuals, nobody wants to pay for a 65 minute tie.  Ties are boring, which is why they remain in soccer.

The final aspect of the NHL product is the goaltenders.  Although the equipment has been downsized lately there is not enough change in this area of the game.  The glove is the main area I’d like to point out.  This hand-net has grown to be ridiculous and serves no protective purpose in its growth.  Just compare new to old.  It’s a competitive advantage used to cover up more of the net in the wake of reducing the ability of one’s actually talent with the glove hand.  The blocker is a little less concerning, but the pads are still way too big.  Equipment should be about safety and protection for the goaltender, not compensating for ones lack of skills/talent in the athlete (Giguere Cough Cough).  Though the movement has dissipated somewhat, the era of the shot-blocker still isn’t dead.  I want to see goalies who have athletic ability and changes that showcase ability, not your equipment dealer hook-up.  Saves bring excitement to the game, especially those that demonstrate the goalie and his individual attributes that make him great in the net.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 01/31/12 at 09:36 PM ET


I don’t need any proof that it is harder to cover a larger piece of ice.

Yeah, but see that’s not what you said.  You didn’t say it would be harder, you said it couldn’t be done.  There’s a lot of difference between difficult and impossible.

I haven’t heard anyhting about players preferring larger ice.

OK, but the fact that you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been said.

When you say condescending you mean stuff like this right?

No, I was talking about condescending questions.

Such as this one:

Did you know that there is a difference between statements and questions?

Posted by Garth on 02/01/12 at 01:49 AM ET


No.  Modify the equipment.  Make the rink a little larger.  4 on 4 would throw the game out of balance.  I think it would get too wide open with too much individual play.

Posted by 13 user names on 02/01/12 at 04:19 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Well Garth, it looks like you’ve sufficiently bisected those hairs.  What were we talking about again?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 02/01/12 at 02:52 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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