October 06, 2005

I don't know about the rest of the league, but the Toronto-Ottawa game was awful. Nobody seemed able to skate, the pass completion rate was around 8%, and the game was just generally sluggish and irritating. I doubt it's a leaguewide trend, and I'm sure things will get better once players get accustomed to the new rules, but it was a painful game to watch. And there was a shootout, which I did not watch.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:01 PM on October 06

Things I noticed in the Toronto/Ottawa game:

  • Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson is one scary-ass line to see on the ice against you.
  • Jason Allison might not suck this year. I also didn't realize he was that tall. For some reason I thought he was a smaller player.
  • Eric Lindros is playing pretty much on heart alone at this point of his career. And don't get him angry...you won't like him when he's angry.
  • Without Sundin, Toronto's offence is dreadful.
  • Belfour really messed up on that shootout goal by Heatley. He came out at an odd angle and I don't think he realized he left half the net uncovered for Dany to shoot at.
  • If they are going to do the shootout, at least have the zambonies do a proper job of clearing the centre of the ice. I could see a LARGE patch of uncleared ice in front of the net.

posted by grum@work at 01:31 PM on October 06

Good things about Toronto/Ottwa game: - Four icings the entire game. - Lindros and Allison looking like they can more than contribute. - Wade Redden looking lost a few time. Ditto Schaefer and Potthier. - Belfour looking really good. - Hasek looking really good. - Shootout needs to be tightened up. - Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson looking fucking wicked.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:29 PM on October 06

With the new 2-line pass rules, 4-on-4 overtimes look very exciting. Lots of opportunities for breakaways there...

posted by rocket88 at 02:34 PM on October 06

the islander buffalo game was the epitome of the new nhl. north-south action, fast paced, back and forth scoring, really fun game. the devs-pens game proved small speedy fowards can excel (gionta, priase) unfortunatly i could not watch my flyers lose to the rangers because of stupid oln. such is life

posted by HATER 187 at 03:02 PM on October 06

Last night felt alot like pre-season stuff. And the only coverage I could find was on OLN. But it made me smile to see the highlights. I missed hockey! I'm curious though, I've heard alot of people down on the shootouts. Is there a better alternative? I was thinking of just adding more OT periods but removing one skater per OT until it was 2 on 2.

posted by fenriq at 03:03 PM on October 06

shoot outs have been used in international hockey for a while and not many people complain and the sport continues to thrive over seas. i would rather see one 5 on 5 20 minute ot period and award a tie if no winner is determined. overtime loss point is the most ridiculous idea the nhk has had since the glowing puck

posted by HATER 187 at 03:17 PM on October 06

i meant nhl not the now defunct national hockey komission

posted by HATER 187 at 03:41 PM on October 06

fenriq: if you live in the US and have cable TV, you might be getting Center Ice for free for a week or so. I've got the digital tier from TimeWarner so I'm getting the freebie right now. Hater 187: you really want those guys gutting it out for a full 20 minutes in OT in an 82-game season? Yikes! And it was Fox that came up with the glowing puck, not the NHL. As for the international game, I would love to see their rink size get adopted by the NHL. I can't think of too many team owners that would be all that thrilled with losing their top-priced seats to accomodate the larger rink though. Fuckers. Oh, and I miss the national hockey komission. Man, those guys were entertaining.

posted by NoMich at 03:46 PM on October 06

I'm with gspm, give 3 pts for a win, if a possible 3 pts is up for grabs. I think Crosby might get left in the Calder race dust. A bigger rookie talent pool, the extra development last year's rooks benefitted from, compounded on top of Crosby's second fiddle role in comparison to the center stage others command and Ovechkin, Parise, Fritsche, Carter, Richards, Lehtonen....all are safer bets for the Calder.

posted by garfield at 04:26 PM on October 06

I'd say Carter and Richards are definitely second fiddle to Forsberg, non? And by reports I've read Crosby looked good last night (facing one of the best goalies ever in Martin Brodeur) even if he didn't score two goals like Ovechkin (playing against nobody's allstar Pascal Leclaire). So, while you may eventually be prvoen right about the Calder race it is certainly all conjecture at this point. Crosby has had... 60 minutes of NHL hockey. (says the guy that took him in the 3rd round of the NHL pool when I was deciding between the attractive risk in Crobsy or the frustrating Jagr - two goals and an assist from HIM last night, yargh). But, you are definitely right about the 3pts for a win thing. Works just fine in, say, the EPL.

posted by gspm at 04:37 PM on October 06

Brian Leetch looks like he can still play.

posted by yerfatma at 04:43 PM on October 06

Of course. But on a team that stacked, everyone sorta plays a supporting role. But yeah, I'm just trying to look smart after 1GP.

posted by garfield at 04:48 PM on October 06

What a shitty night of hockey. All the bad guys won.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:37 PM on October 06

Hater 187 you didnt miss much. When forsberg gets his legs under him(like in the 02/03 season) he will be in the top five in scoring easy. richards is going to suprise alot of people either winning rookie of the year or coming in second. the richards/sim/knuble line didnt play together until the end of the game(by that time they were dead tired).richards was the main reason sim led the preseason in goals. The power play was horrible (or they whould have won the game)they still suffer from the head coach's rule(muss pass the puck atleast 8 times before a shot can be taken) P.S im a big fan of the flyers and will admit that the alfredsson line is in a word terrifying.Ottawa will be in the finals.

posted by RZA at 10:19 PM on October 06

Wrong Samsonov: Edmonton won! Shootout: I really hate the shootout. I've hated it for a long time. I think it's way too arbitrary to decide a game. It's like deciding a baseball game with a homerun derby. The Leafs got to where they were in that game because of their positioning and defense (save for a few lapses) -- yet they can't use THAT to win the game for them because it's RANDOM BREAKAWAY TIME!! Fuck that. I keep hearing defenders saying that people have been complaining about tie games for decades? What? I have never heard such a complaint. Who the hell are these absolutist people that can't handle the concept that for this one game, these two teams were equal and should evenly split two points? Blah. But the games have been pretty good thus far, despite that. I am in favour of making every game worth three points. 3 for the regulation winner. 2 for the overtime winner. 1 for the overtime loser. 0 for the regulation loser. It balances more. Crosby: was pretty good. He could have easily had a goal or two in that game were it not for Brodeur, who was outstanding in the first period. The Pens were dominating the game early, he kept them off the board, and NJ never looked back. I like this Perry kid in Anaheim, though. But the amount of rookies -- quality rookies -- this year is amazing. Understandable with the double crop, but still amazing. So many players getting their first ever goals in these the first two days of the season.

posted by mkn at 10:45 PM on October 06

i got a chance to watch the rangers last night on msg and i gotta say they look like a lota fun to watch. i will always hate them because of the uni but some of those kids got wheels. real up tempo shite great hockey. ottawa is the vancouver of the east one line team (albeit a very scary one) i don't like them because they're soft, goal is question with dom "ow, my groin!" hasek. i say it every year but i like philly one of the better goalies (brodeur and luongo are def better, i put esche on thedore's level) real strong up the middle(center is the most important position next to goal) and a great mix of speed (gagne, kapanen) grit (knuble, primeau) and toughness (brasher,stevenson) just cause the red line is gone does not mean you do not hard hitting defenders it will develope into more of endzone game because of the bigger offensive zones

posted by HATER 187 at 08:36 AM on October 07

Wow! This is some entertaining reading. I knew I missed hockey, but I didn't realize how much. Great to have it back. GO KINGS! (yeah, I know, but theyr'e my team and they play hard under Murray. wish we still had Palffy, but Demitra, Conroy and JR are a nice addition.)

posted by Desert Dog at 10:29 AM on October 07

I was thinking I'd boycott hockey, but I found myself getting hockey fever as the season approached. Despite my disgust that the players caved, I think the new system with the cap and minimum will be good for hockey. And the Oilers won, so I'm happy so far. The league adopting the shootout surprised me, as it is universally detested by Canadians. I have no problem with it myself, and vastly prefer it to the 3 point games. Still, I think going back to the old system of allowing ties would have been more popular with the average fan. Should be an exciting year. Anyone who thinks they know what's going to happen is talking out the side of their neck.

posted by alex_reno at 11:58 AM on October 07

Yeah, I've never heard anyone say anything bad about ties in hockey. Ever.

posted by chicobangs at 12:20 PM on October 07

I don't think it was the ties that bothered people, it was teams playing for a tie...basically playing a prevent defense the last couple minutes of the 3rd and OT, guaranteeing themselve a point. The addition of overtime losses just made it worse..."hey, we can lose now, in regulation, and get nothing, or drag the game into overtime, and get a point for the same loss." Never mind it made the standings look ridiculous, it just made for bad hockey... And can I say, it feels abso-fucking-lutely fabulous to debate hockey here without the words "cost-certainty", "salary cap", or "CBA" appearing in every post...damn these last 16 months have been hard...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:07 PM on October 07

Yeah, I've never heard anyone say anything bad about ties in hockey. Ever. True. But I don't think fans in the building will be saying anything bad about getting to watch a shootout, either. (I just wish it was 5 players instead of 3. Give teams a chance to highlight more of their stars.) Sidenote: Minnesota had 20 ties last year. If 8 of those ties were converted to wins (by winning the shootout), they'd have made the playoffs.

posted by grum@work at 03:07 PM on October 07

Minnesota had 20 ties last year. You mean "last season". We're so going to make that mistake constantly.

posted by qbert72 at 04:36 PM on October 07

was thinking I'd boycott hockey, but I found myself getting hockey fever as the season approached. Same here, Alex. I don't just have hockey-fever, though. I've got full-blown hockey AIDS.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:41 PM on October 07

You mean "last season". We're so going to make that mistake constantly. D'oh!

posted by grum@work at 07:04 PM on October 07

Watching Crosby right now (Pens-Canes): he's the real deal, as far as his combination of strength, passing vision and puck-handling is concerned. His team can't defend for toffee, though.

posted by etagloh at 08:32 PM on October 07

Speaking of real deal, how about that Cam Ward in Carolina? If he can continue to play like that and if he gets a chance to play, he will be number one in no time. Luongo is smoking thus far, too.

posted by mkn at 09:13 PM on October 07

Cam's parents were in the building tonight for his first ever NHL game. He gave them something to remember that's for sure. This kid has been flying under every radar so far, so hopefully opposing teams won't think too much of him before facing him. It'll be interesting when Gerber gets healthy, that's for sure.

posted by NoMich at 12:43 AM on October 08

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