I was talking with my boss the other day (no, I wasn't getting reprimanded). He's a big-time hockey fan who gets the NHL pay per view package and watches games every night. His observation about the new rules was that it definitely hurts the star players such as Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and other older players because the game has become strictly about speed.
His main contention is that every team is forced to play the same style and that there's no variety any more.
Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said this on Philly.com in relation to Lemieux's decision not to play in the Olympics: "You are finding, in general, with a lot of older players, especially guys who didn't play the year before, this season is a real grind. The intensity of the competition is a real grind for the older players."
That could be one reason why there are so many more pulled groin injuries this year. Players have no option other than to skate constantly.
One of my points is that there are no other professional leagues that have as many players age 35 and older. In all the other leagues those players are pushed out by younger, quicker players. To me that says everything about the old style of hockey, but the boss believes that hurts the game because so many of those players are recognizable stars.
I like the current style of play much better than what we saw in the last few years with everyone playing the neutral zone trap. I'd always like to see more hitting and aggressive play, but at least now that has a chance to happen. It sure didn't last year. Snooze city. I'll bet the Atlanta-Detroit game last night was a blast to watch. The Thrashers led 6-2 before the Red Wings tied it. Atlanta eventually won 7-6.
What do you think?