Friday, February 03, 2006

New rules in the NHL / is it getting old?

Overall league attendance has been setting records month after month and ratings have increased over years past.
Rookie sensations Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin - along with new rules aimed at increasing action have rekindled interest in the fledgling league.
One of the bigger changes wasn't a change at all. The NHL promised a zero tolerance policy for hooking, holding, tripping, slashing, cross checking and interference. Players who use their stick or free hand to slow any opposing player will be penalized. The NHL needed to end the grappling, wrestling and bear-hugging that sucks the speed and skill from the game.
Combined with the removal of two-line passes, the implementation of tag-up offsides, reducing the size of the neutral zone, and reducing the size of goalie equipment, the NHL product has become more exciting and fast-paced. So far, so good.
Hockey is a team game, not a series of breakaways. Players have to earn scoring chances by outworking and out-skating opponents, and while exciting, the addition of the shootout is a novelty that will wear off once fans have seen enough of them.
One og the things I noticed that way to many ticky tack penalties are being called.

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