Well it’s about bloody time that the NHL made a deal and changed some of the rules. Here’s my take.
Two points or nothing: Some say that it will lead to even more defensive play. Bullshit. They’ll start working their asses off in the third just like before.
The huge, contentious, apocalypse will happen (depends on which Sun columnist you read), hockey will never recover change: the 7th to 10th teams will do a three game playoff to get the final spot. The naysayers say it will dilute the bottom half of the playoff pool, or that the teams will work for tenth instead of sixth, or remind us that the Flames would have had another series to go through before they bother to choke in the finals.
The Western Conference desperately needs to have this option. The last few years the last 5 or so teams have been separated by a single point (I’ll check this officially later since the NHL stats site is confusing at best). How many teams have their hopes crushed at the end of the year because of a single game. Sure the Eastern Conference will be filled with a bunch of teams from the southern US states but that’s the price we have to pay to get some real action in the West.
The Rest of the Crowd
Remove the red line for two-line passing. This has been needed for years. How many times have we seen a breakaway falter because of a wistle (not that often as of late because nobody bothers). That should change things. Hell it might even lead to some, gasp, action.
Icing. Here are a few neat touches (pun not originally intended but kept upon editing). Icing counts according to the stick hitting the line first. This should keep some of those heads rammed into boards incidents down. Icing the puck also means you don’t get to change your players. Heads will certainly roll for this one. Expect a bunch of higher scoring games.
Tag up offsides: If you’re over you can leave and come back if you’re quick. Should be neat to see. I’ll wait before I pronounce final judgement though. I don’t know if this one will actually work or not.
Delay of game: Throw the puck over your boards and you’re in the box. Again, about damned time.
Fines for criticizing officials: I can’t wait for Jerome Roenick to pull out his wallet, throw down a few bills, bitch out a shitty call by the ref, throw down some more bills, and do it again. This could turn into a real fun-fest. I’d suggest that the money be put into a pot for charity. Criticize the refs, support MS research. Sound super.
Overtime: Don’t really care. Either way they should work their asses off to get those points. I didn’t see enough of the 4-on-4 to really say it was good or bad.