Tuesday, February 06, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things

What is your favourite thing about the NHL?
I love the athleticism of hockey. I'm a huge football fan, but some of those players can't run more than ten yards without huffing and puffing, bending over trying to catch their breathes. You rarely -- if ever -- see a hockey player who can't skate for a full shift. There are no 6'6" 300+ lb players, they're all in pretty good shape and play every position, sometimes even goalie.
I also love the combination of finesse and strength. A player can score a goal and win a fight in the same game, and it isn't unusual or odd. A team's top scorer can also fight against the other team's heavyweight without batting an eye.
I also love the parity. The worst road team in the NHL can rout one of the best home teams on any given night (gotta love LA). While it isn't common, it is more common than in football, where the gap between the best and the worst is so big.

What is your least favourite thing about the NHL?
Like everyone, I'm not too fond of the schedule. It hurts good teams that are in strong divisions and inflates the points of good teams in weak divisions. And beyond that, are 8 games really necessary against your division? Do you really need to play the same teams for almost half of the schedule? Especially when there are some great rivalries outside of divisions (Colorado-Detriot always comes to mind). It's not even wanting to see Western stars more, it doesn't make sense to me that the only teams that matter (according to the NHL) are your division. If you play in a very competitive division (ie. Northwest this season), you're playing 32 "well-matched" games. Compare that to the Central division, where Detriot and Nashville together have more points than the other three teams combined. That would indicate to me that they play 8 "well-matched" games, and 24 easier games. How is that really a fair schedule? While I know they can't make it 100% even, they can do more than they are doing now.
I'm also against the officiating. I don't mind seeing the Lightning go 2-8 on the powerplay, it is a little ridiculous to believe that the Rangers committed 10 penalties, to Tampa's 5 (of which two were concurrent with Ranger penalties). And I've seen worse. They need to reevaluate the current situation, and see what they can do to fix it.

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