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Old 05-16-2003, 10:45 AM   #121
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oh and the way I would try to make things "more exciting" would be to make the ice bigger. the olympic is is larger and we can all agree that was some pretty exciting hockey. the players have gotten much bigger and stronger over the years, yet the ice has stayed the same size. If we make it bigger it will be harder to run the traps, there will be much more skating and open things up a lot more, not as much clogging of the neutral zone, more fancy passes and better scoring chances.

Is this really feasible, could each arena expand the ice? I dont know, probably not, but for the good of the game I definitely think that is the way to go. It is truly the only way to bring the skill back and get rid of the talentless thugs who cant reallt even skate.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:15 PM   #122
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It always comes back to the Canucks

Tighten up on defense means tightening the free-flowing offense. Teams are there to win championships - not "excite" the fans. Sorry. You can excite the fans all you want, but, if you don't win championships - you are worthless. Three teams with this similar style of play in the Cup semis - and the one without the style is down two games to one and couldn't score last night.

You cannot honestly sit there and tell me that you rather see an "exciting" brand of ocke year after year that gets knocked out in the first or second round of the playoffs.

I bet you will see more teams play this way.
I never said once that they weren't there to win championships. I simply think that entertainment should be part of the package. And I also happen to think it is possible to have a great defensive system without resorting to the trap to the degree that NJ, Anaheim and Minny do. Let's face it: every team plays the trap to some extent. The word trap does get overused. It's simply making sure all your players are back in defensive position almost all of the time (ie, when your not attacking offensively). Some teams concentrate on this far more than others and they trade off the goal scoring for shutting the other tream down. You get teams like NJ winning games 1-0 because they are very good at that system. The problem with that, though, is that if every team became equally as good at shutting down the other team, winning becomes a crapshoot. It comes down to whichever team gets the first lucky break. I really don't want to see every game decided by such means. I want to see pro-active play. I want to feel the game.

Even a team like Ottawa traps to some extent, but the point is they don't do it exclusively. They also use a constant forecheck, and use creativity (lots of passing plays, and making room for themselves with turns and offensive manouvers). When a team like Ottawa sees an offensive opportunity, they don't do the safe thing and dump the puck in. They jump on it (which, btw, I must commend Minny for against the Canucks). NJ and Anaheim, however, don't know what to do half the time anymore when an offensive situation lands in their lap. They've forgotten the creative side to the game. I saw numerous examples of this during this series. Each time I asked myself why didn't they do that or make the pass over there -- the guy woud have had a 2-1 or a clear break.

To conclude, it's not about winning championships, it's about how do coaches want to win championships? I disagree big time that a stifling trap is the only answer. If everyone does it, then, yes, maybe it is the most effective. But it doesn't have to be that way if the coaches around the league changed the philosophy to some extent. They're only hurting themselves by putting a much larger significance on the chance factor.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:28 PM   #123
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oh and the way I would try to make things "more exciting" would be to make the ice bigger. the olympic is is larger and we can all agree that was some pretty exciting hockey. the players have gotten much bigger and stronger over the years, yet the ice has stayed the same size. If we make it bigger it will be harder to run the traps, there will be much more skating and open things up a lot more, not as much clogging of the neutral zone, more fancy passes and better scoring chances.

Is this really feasible, could each arena expand the ice? I dont know, probably not, but for the good of the game I definitely think that is the way to go. It is truly the only way to bring the skill back and get rid of the talentless thugs who cant reallt even skate.
I see your point, Chizip, but being more a traditionalist, I really would not want the ice to be changed. If you had incredibly talented teams facing off against each other (such as Canada and the USA at Salt Lake), you would see entertaining hockey. However, a lot of international hockey relies even more on the trap to counter the absence of the red line. You have teams just as, if not more, defensive minded as in the NHL.

I would like to see the nets moved back toward the back boards a couple feet, like they used to be. Gretzky had much more success back there, believe it or not, when there was a little less room. Also, bringing the nets out the way they did actually removed space in the offensive zone. The result is a shorter distance between the net and the blue line. The defense has more time to shut down any attack. It was counterproductive in my opinion, and many a hockey expert will tell you the same thing (not that I'm an expert, just that we happen to agree )

Just to make a point about goalie equimpment: I don't think it's the problem. If you watch the game, it's the lack of opportunities that are frightening, not the actual results so much. For sake of argument, say the league initiates a mandatory decrease in size for all goalie equipment. Let's just say they even increase the net size (that would be truly ridiculous). Well, what do you think that would do to the game? If anything, it would be even more defensive, and thus even harder to get the opportunity to score! Sounds like a bright idea to me

The NHL will hopefully wake up and realize how special the game was when players like Gretzky and Lemieux had the ability to turn this game into an art form. Until then, let's keep watching chess on ice.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:28 PM   #124
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There is so much "luck" built into the game of hockey. So many times, your skill can be thwarted by a slip of a stick or a bump on the ice or who knows what else. If you Match perfect skills to perfect skills - the only thing you have left is luck. Evident in Vancouver V. Minnesota - the teams (no matter HOW PAINFUL THIS WILL SEEM TO you) were well matched, skill for skill - Minnesota just got the lucky bounces. No?


I would say the same thing about the first two games of the Ducks/Wild - except, Anaheim has a way better skilled goalie in Frank McCool Junior on the ice. takes the chance and luck away - and gives Anaheim an advantage.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:31 PM   #125
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also, teams like anaheim and minny just dont have the skilled players up front to open it up. they cant go out and afford the super skilled players the red wings and colorados and dallas' have. if they tried to open it up they would get killed. so they are just doing what they have to do to stay competitive with the big spenders. and i think thats probably the smartest thing to do.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:40 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally posted by zonelistener
There is so much "luck" built into the game of hockey. So many times, your skill can be thwarted by a slip of a stick or a bump on the ice or who knows what else. If you Match perfect skills to perfect skills - the only thing you have left is luck. Evident in Vancouver V. Minnesota - the teams (no matter HOW PAINFUL THIS WILL SEEM TO you) were well matched, skill for skill - Minnesota just got the lucky bounces. No?
Yes, of course there is luck, but my point is luck (and goaltending) shouldn't be the only factor in the outcome of the game. No, I can objectively disagree with you about the skill level being equal between Vancouver and Minny. Just look at the regular season numbers, and look at the all-star players Vancouver has compared to Minny. Look at how many players in the Vancouver lineup that played in the Olympics compared to that of Minny. Anyone (except maybe a Wild fan and possibly Chizip just to spite me ) would tell you the same thing.

You say that if you have two teams with great skills you will have a game simply made of luck. I disagree. Look at the final game between the USA and Canada. That was truly exciting hockey. Both teams were very highly skilled, but the team who had more will and determination won the game. That's the difference between the crapshoot method (ie, the trap) and the pro-active, offensive (hitting, forechecking, creativity) way of approaching the game. The latter method is more condusive to will over chance.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:48 PM   #127
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there is more to winning than skill mikey, you of all people should know this. just look at the vancouver-stl series. i think we could agree stl has more talent across the board, yet they were outworked (although a decapitating illness had something to do with that) and they lost.

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but the team who had more will and determination won the game.
are you saying minny didnt have more will and determination than the canucks? will and determination are what make up the difference in the gap between talent.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:48 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
also, teams like anaheim and minny just dont have the skilled players up front to open it up. they cant go out and afford the super skilled players the red wings and colorados and dallas' have. if they tried to open it up they would get killed. so they are just doing what they have to do to stay competitive with the big spenders. and i think thats probably the smartest thing to do.
Yes, it's not just the coaching philosophy, but the reasons behind it. The economics of the game are such that teams have to stay competitive, and the trap is the most practical on-ice tactic for doing just that. It's too bad saleries have escalated the way they have. It's ironic that Gretzky is now an owner when he was the once who drove them up in the first place when he came to LA and expanded the market along the sunbelt. Talk about the players (and more so the owners) becoming their own grave diggers.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:53 PM   #129
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Originally posted by Chizip
there is more to winning than skill mikey, you of all people should know this. just look at the vancouver-stl series. i think we could agree stl has more talent across the board, yet they were outworked (although a decapitating illness had something to do with that) and they lost.
I addressed this already. As you know, I brought up the Canada/USA game. The team that had more determination won the game. See the next counter quote you've chosen...
Quote:
are you saying minny didnt have more will and determination than the canucks? will and determination are what make up the difference in the gap between talent.
What? When did I say that Minny didn't have more will and determination than the Canucks? I find this statement rather odd and quite confusing. Of course will and determination makes up the gap between talent! I agree with this, and I've been consistent with that agreement. I'm still not sure what you're driving at. Explain?
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:53 PM   #130
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More Will and Determination

Luck

I think it is impossible to say a team has "more will and determination" than another team.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:58 PM   #131
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what i was getting at, was you seemed to make it sound like the reason minny beat vancouver was because of the crap shoot trap, not because of more will and determination.

and in the canada/usa game, canada had more talent. so to say if it was due to talent or will and determination, who knows. like zoner says w&d is really impossible to determine.
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Old 05-16-2003, 03:00 PM   #132
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I think it is impossible to say a team has "more will and determination" than another team.
Really? Why do you say this? I think it's quite easy to tell when a team has given up and doesn't want it quite as bad. It's not just how much they want it, but how confident they are in getting it. That's a big indication in how much will they have left as a team. For example, when Gaborik cross checked one of the Duck players on the team the other night, that was the first indication I've seen so far from the Wild that they (or at least Gaborik) has given up on the idea of winning. It was sign of frustration insofar that I haven't seen that from any member of the Wild up to this point in the playoffs. For Gabs' sake (if not for the rest of the Wild), I hope Lemaire sets him straight.
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Old 05-16-2003, 03:06 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
what i was getting at, was you seemed to make it sound like the reason minny beat vancouver was because of the crap shoot trap, not because of more will and determination.

and in the canada/usa game, canada had more talent. so to say if it was due to talent or will and determination, who knows. like zoner says w&d is really impossible to determine.
No, my answer was two fold: the trap does cater to a bit of a crap shoot, but of course there is still will and determination involved (you have to be very disciplined to employ the trap so effectively). My point is an offensive game plan (from both teams) requires an aggressive, pro-active regiment, one which requires more will than chance. The will/chance balance is weighted more in favour of will than chance when you remove the trap. That's all I'm saying.

I still disagree that will and determination are impossible to determine. Vancouver gave up after the score was 3-2 late in the 7th game. One piece of evidence was Bertuzzi's lack of discipline. It came down to the fact that the Wild, as a whole, wanted it more in those waning minutes than the Canucks did. Whether that was because the Canucks were dejected, or lost the confidence to come back, is beside the point. Regardless of reason, they did not want to win as badly as the Wild when all was said and done.
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Old 05-16-2003, 03:09 PM   #134
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well, i think the trap also balances out the will/talent factor

the trap makes it so that the team that has more will will win than the team that has more talent, and shouldnt that be how it should be

whoever wants it the most and gives the most should win?
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Old 05-16-2003, 03:16 PM   #135
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Ultimately, yes, it should be the team that wants it more that wins, but my original point is that it's a boring playing field. That's just it: it looks more like a field than an ice rink (hence, back to the soccer analogy). If you want to view it from a marketable standpoint, I really think the game would be much more attractive if it returned to the style of the early to mid 90s. That was compelling hockey. That's all I'm saying. Sure, if you believe that winning is the *only* thing that matters in the sport, than what I've been saying has no significance. But keep in mind, over the long and short run, teams will always win and lose, no matter what style they play. I'm simply advocating for a different way to the same goal (so to speak )
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