HURRY SLEPYSHEV

The season began with a lot of promise for Anton Slepyshev. He got noticed early and often, and early days Oilers management picked him out of the crowd.

  • Todd McLellan: “Yes. When I look at his game, and I watched the video again—the video doesn’t lie. He did a lot of the things we worked on today in the game. He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before. You can see it, he’s been around pro players for awhile.”
  • Todd McLellan: “He has the ability to play a heavy game and use his shot. He’s played with speed guys and with grinders … he’s getting better night after night and he’s really opening the coaches’ eyes.” Source

We now know the Oilers had some bonus/cap issues (leading to Leon being sent down) and that the team was in fact looking for players who have “the ability to play a heavy game.” Anton Slepyshev was impressive enough to win an NHL job early, but the pucks weren’t going in and he lost his job to Iiro Pakarinen. That is a concern. Why?

Iiro Pakarinen isn’t a high bar, and Slepyshev didn’t (as I thought he might) rip up the AHL. Slepyshev had some injury issues during the year and that cost him time.  Since returning, he is 12, 3-3-6 and has an assist in each of his last two games. His assist today came on a goal by Matt Ford, with fellow Russian Bogdan Yakimov getting an assist.

Maybe the combination of getting healthy, adding Yak 2.0 and a small push up the depth chart is what the doctor ordered. The Oilers don’t have many players in Bakersfield who have received positive endorsements from men like Ray Ferraro. It is imperative the organization finds a way to get him to the next level as a productive player.

  • Slepyshev on what he needs to do in order to get back to the NHL: “When the Oilers management sent me down to the AHL to play in Bakersfield they clearly let me know what I did well and what I needed to work on. I took what I needed to work on and have been developing those skills in the AHL. In my time in the AHL, I have learned to think faster on the ice and make quicker decisions. I also learned how to play stronger and win battles against the boards. I now understand what a smart decision in this kind of hockey is and I understand what an unwise decision is. I am trying to find the keys to success in this league. I have been working on things that will translate into points. Points are what I really lack.
  • Source

Small victories are big steps.

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45 Responses to "HURRY SLEPYSHEV"

  1. jfry says:

    i think this article has been passed along on this blog, but if not, i think it’s a really interesting read that relates to the underlined portion that you quoted LT.

    kuznetsov does a nice job of letting you into the mind of a Russian raised player who is transitioning to the NHL’s way of thinking…a really fun read

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/evgeny-kuznetsov-capitals-russia-hockey/

  2. jfry says:

    from the article:
    “In my team in KHL, if you dump the puck, coach might put you on bench and you never go out and play hockey again. It’s true.

    If a guy skates in and shoots from blue line without passing, it’s like he doesn’t have respect. That’s how we play in Russia.

    If you’re a forward and you dump it, like maybe once they say, “Hey, hey, come on. What you doing?”

    Next time you do it, that’s it. You must be crazy.

    My first 10 games in NHL, I don’t understand why guys keep dumping puck. I’m looking at coach like, Is he going to say something? And he’s like, happy about it.

    Even Ovi. I see him dump it. I’m looking at him like, What?!

    But we keep winning. So I’m like, Ok, well, I guess it’s working.

    Now I totally understand why we do this. But at first, I’m so confused. In the NHL, the space is so tight that you can’t think you’re special. If my teammates play 60 hard minutes, do the right things, and then I turn the puck over at the blue line and we lose, I got 22 big guys in the locker room very angry with me. Not good.”

  3. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    On the play style front, if you look at soccer, the Dutch and then the Spanish revolutionized the game with the way they had every player on the pitch engaged in possession. Possession was so key. Pass the ball around and don’t take risks in giving up the ball until you open up a seam through your passing. Spain and Barcelona both recently took this to a higher level. It works and is beautiful to watch if you have the skill to do it, and the space.

    Soviet hockey used to be like that, too. And if played on big ice by Olympic level players it can still be like that.

    The problem is when you don’t have the talent level or space. Japanese soccer tries to emulate the Spanish game because the Japanese are also small and quick and can’t compete in the aerial game so they try to pass the ball around. The problem is they lack the finishing skill. So all they do is dominate possession but can’t muster any scoring and the game is boring.

    That’s what happens if you try to play the never dump in and always carry the puck game at the NHL level. Not enough space and not enough skill.

    As for Slepyshev, I found his comments interesting at the time and even more so now after Gretzky’s recent words on how creativity is being coached out of players these days. Our coaches want Yak and Slepy and all these guys to turn into 200-ft players.

    15-20 years ago those guys were set loose to score and flying the zone or missing checks wasn’t punished to the same degree. A Bure or Selanne or even a Brett Hull didn’t back check much. They were expected to just score. Of course, those are elite examples so my point has a caveat. But these days we talk about Eberle as being one dimensional in a bad context. But the man scores. It’s his job. He is good at it. Don’t expect him to be first man back in the zone, so play him with someone (like Nuge) who is. And set him loose.

    Now of course, Yak and Slepy haven’t earned that kind of slack, but it feels like sometimes if the coaches these days had a choice they’d have 12 checking forwards who can pot an occasional goal over 12 Bure types all looking to fly the zone but fearsome on the attack.

    The game is always changing so it will be interesting to see if the Hawks’ sustained success with an attacking, fluid style of game will lead to a move away from this.

  4. Woogie63 says:

    I saw Slepyshev in Penticton I thought he was one of the better “young stars”. He has speed, a decent shot and seems to like the heavy going …. what is missing?

  5. stephen sheps says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:

    The game is always changing so it will be interesting to see if the Hawks’ sustained success with an attacking, fluid style of game will lead to a move away from this.

    I sure hope so. As much as I enjoyed the Oilers playing the heavy grinding game they played against the Flyers the other night, I find myself becoming increasingly bored watching regular season play. Obviously 10 years of the team I love being terrible will have that kind of effect on a fan, but it isn’t just when I watch the Oilers. Outside of the Hawks, Capitals and (*spits) Stars, I see pretty much every team playing a similar rigidly structured system, something similar to the Sutterpuck style game the Kings play. During the playoffs, when the intensity is dialled up to 11 (it’s one louder) and sometimes a single game lasts as long as 2 games, I find that style remarkably exciting, but during the grind (pun intended) of the regular season it gets very old. I think the BettPoint has a lot to do with it – there isn’t the killer instinct or will to close out games and because there is less space, less skill and less motivation to play for a win when an OTL still gets you precious points, well… here we are.

    As a result I’ve found myself far more interested in the NBA than at any time since I was a teenager in the golden age of MJ and the Bulls dynasties and playing NBA jam on my super nintendo (loved the Bill Clinton code).

    The reason for it is that the game is fast, fluid, crazy skilled and really entertaining. I don’t care that the refs don’t call traveling penalties unless it’s a particularly egregious violation, the experience as a fan watching at home is far better. I’ll never call myself a serious NBA fan (I cheer for OKC because they used to be Seattle and the Sonics were the closest team to Edmonton back in the day) but this season it’s been far more fun to watch two basketball teams I don’t care about than two hockey teams I don’t care about, even if they’re ‘good’ teams. (*I must admit though that even when I lived in Ontario I couldn’t bring myself to cheer for the Raptors. I wanted to, but the fact that MLSE owns them just turns me off completely).

    I still watch just about every Oilers game except the 10:30 eastern starts on work nights, and hockey is still my favourite sport to watch, talk about, obsess over and deconstruct – I wouldn’t be trying to write about hockey if I didn’t love it – but I do wish that a skill-first, systems later style or, better still, a skilled systems-play a la red army circa 1978-83 could make a return to the NHL. It would be a bit more fun, and it’s supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

  6. frjohnk says:

    Woogie63:
    I saw Slepyshev in Penticton I thought he was one of the better “young stars”.He has speed, a decent shot and seems to like the heavy going …. what is missing?

    He is still getting used to the North American game/rinks and systems.

    There is definitely a player here.

  7. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Woogie63:
    I saw Slepyshev in Penticton I thought he was one of the better “young stars”.He has speed, a decent shot and seems to like the heavy going …. what is missing?

    English language skills, new country, new food, no friends or family, smaller ice, more hitting and fighting, expectations to play defensive hockey, lack of talented line mates, injuries… I may have missed one or two

  8. admiralmark says:

    I wonder if Schultz will get the same treatment Phaneuf got on his first game back in Edmonton? I think the fans should be cheering… just for a different reason.

  9. ashley says:

    stephen sheps,

    The game is much less entertaining than it used to be. The margin between winning and losing, between good and bad, between playoffs and lottery is so small now that coaches emphasize “no mistake hockey” instead of creative hockey.

    We now have a league of defensive wizards perfectly positioned to stand up attackers at the blue line and others perfectly positioned to interfere with progression through the neutral zone.

    How often did Lafleur dump the puck? If some Dman approached him at the blueline, he just skated around them. Mostly they were backing up so they didn’t get beat wide.

    What about Phil Esposito looping around on the ice waiting for an offensive rush? He wasn’t positioning himself to defend the neutral zone. He was thinking about scoring another goal.

    Now it’s all Defense first. And if you don’t coach like that, you lose. The creativity is being squeezed and the game outcome is more likely to be determined by lucky bounces and bad breaks than skill.

    I’m not sure if there is an answer. Doubling the ice surface would be the best way to bring skill back. But that’s not going to happen.

  10. Receptor Antagonist says:

    jfry: If my teammates play 60 hard minutes, do the right things, and then I turn the puck over at the blue line and we lose, I got 22 big guys in the locker room very angry with me. Not good.”

    I fing love this. Awesome.

  11. Klima's_Bucket says:

    stephen sheps,

    Mr. Sheps,

    1) SuperSonics Fan
    2) Super Nintendo

    I don’t know you.
    But if I knew you.
    I’d like you.

    Cheers.

  12. Stelio Kontos says:

    I’d love to see bigger rinks, and better officiating. The game is pretty clutch and grab now, and the goddamn pick plays.

  13. GCW_69 says:

    Stelio Kontos:
    I’d love to see bigger rinks, and better officiating. The game is pretty clutch and grab now, and the goddamn pick plays.

    I would love bigger ice as well, and bigger nets while we’re at it. I hold out hope for the nets.

  14. stephen sheps says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    well your avatar is of the greatest helmet ever created or worn in hockey history, so on the surface at least it seems like if we ever met in the real world we’d get along just fine. nice to know there are some other supersonics fans still left out there. Too bad the Thunder’s window looks to be closing. They’re such a skilled team, but they’re probably only 3rd best in the conference (and probably the league too – I’d put them ahead of the Cavs at this point)

    cheers to you as well, good sir.

  15. Halfwise says:

    Stelio Kontos:
    I’d love to see bigger rinks, and better officiating. The game is pretty clutch and grab now, and the goddamn pick plays.

    I think the refereeing *should* be the easiest thing to improve but would be the quickest to revert.

    The most durable change would be 4 skaters not 5, on North American ice.

    If that can’t happen, higher nets would be cheap and instant ways to get more goals. But the damn officials would just allow more holding and goal challenges.

    It’s a boring and often unwatchable game in its current state.

  16. kinger_OIL says:

    ashley,

    – Great post. I’m all for the Oil of course. pinning the team along the boards cycling the puck dump and chase perimeter modern hockey sucks. But we are learning it.

    – Now mcd could be a game changer. He edges inside which is rare

    – that 5 minute review of offside was an excellent example of another problem in hockey. Offside should be like double play in baseball. As long as they are close the ump always gives it. 2nd base is never touched they can be 15 feet away. They are always called out. Unless there is puck contact, as long as it’s the flow let the refs continue the game. That forward rush would help hockey so much. Double plays are exciting even if they aren’t called properly because the drama comes from the guy running to first before the catch not the dude at 2nd who is “out”. If they called the 2B as tight as NHL off side no double plays. Intent is enough give the refs discretion just like the DP. I know it will never happen but most offside is so stupid. Baseball figured it out.

  17. alice13 says:

    I don’t understand how bigger nets fix the problem. Just means more shots go in. Bigger nets do not create better or more scoring opportunities, they would just provide the proxy (goals).

  18. Stelio Kontos says:

    alice13,

    I agree. The lack of goals is a result of other problems. Just increasing goals won’t make it more interesting. I get really frustrated when the 5 minutes of overtime is more interesting than the rest of the game. They need ways to open things up. They could start by calling the rulebook. McDavid is so scary because he is the only player in the world who can make space for himself with speed in 5on5 play. Not to complain about that, but it should be less rare.

    And the coach’s challenge is stupid. And goalie interference need get figured out. A dman pushing a guy though the crease isn’t interference,

  19. theres oil in virginia says:

    alice13:
    I don’t understand how bigger nets fix the problem. Just means more shots go in. Bigger nets do not create better or more scoring opportunities,they would just provide the proxy (goals).

    See, that’s what I used to think too, but consider this: If more goals go in, it’s harder to clamp down and protect a one goal lead, because the odds are worse that you’ll get away with it. Therefore, playing that lock-down style becomes less effective, and that means that a more offensive-minded approach will be more effective. The game will open up if you find a way to increase goal scoring.

  20. Halfwise says:

    Stelio Kontos,

    If goals were easier to come by, coaching would change. Now it’s so hard to get the tying goal that coaches do everything to prevent the go-ahead goal. A 6-4 league would be more entertaining than the current 3-2 league, I’d bet.

    Edit:What TOiV said.

  21. haters says:

    I would be in favor of the NHL changing rink size to match International ice size. Players are so fast now, almost all can skate and make plays at high levels. If the NHL is serious about making a better brand of hockey, this is a measure they should seriously consider.

    Kusnetsov has a valid point. Dump and chase is boring. Edmonton were trail blazers in bringing in European style hockey. Exciting to watch. Coaches in the 90’s destroyed that brand with the trap, and they always seem to have a system to counteract any changes the league makes to get rid of it.

    As much as I want this team to win, it hurts to see the previous 2 or 3 coaches completely destroy any semblance of the run and gun rush hockey that I love. I understand if you can’t beat em join em, but it still sucks.

    Free Hall, free Yak, free Ebs, and for the love of Bobby Orr free Conner McDavid.
    They would be so fun to watch on bigger ice.

  22. theres oil in virginia says:

    Halfwise:
    Stelio Kontos,

    If goals were easier to come by, coaching would change. Now it’s so hard to get the tying goal that coaches do everything to prevent the go-ahead goal. A 6-4 league would be more entertaining than the current 3-2 league, I’d bet.

    Edit:What TOiV said.

    Great minds…and us too.

  23. Halfwise says:

    theres oil in virginia: Great minds…and us too.

    I’m happy to pool my ignorance with anyone here at LT’s place. 🙂

  24. Stelio Kontos says:

    Halfwise,

    I can buy that argument, but I think it would actually increase shot blocking and box protection since shots become more risky. The lock down would still happen in my opinion. So long as players/goalies are too big for the ice, they will have this problem.

    Biggest problem might be the bettman point. It makes playoff races look closer than they are.

  25. Water Fire says:

    Everything has changed but puck and net size. The game is getting boring. Thank goodness for players like CMD that can plain beat guys even in position.

    Burke is right, 5 extra feet in width would open the game up again.

    Goalie equipment is too big. Easy to fix. Or half the puck size 🙂

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: 15-20 years ago those guys were set loose to score and flying the zone or missing checks wasn’t punished to the same degree. A Bure or Selanne or even a Brett Hull didn’t back check much. They were expected to just score. Of course, those are elite examples so my point has a caveat. But these days we talk about Eberle as being one dimensional in a bad context. But the man scores. It’s his job. He is good at it. Don’t expect him to be first man back in the zone, so play him with someone (like Nuge) who is. And set him loose.

    IMO hockey hasn’t changed that much relatively. I agree high offense players have had latitude but would argue they still do. Eberle is 88th in scoring.

    I like Eberle. Funny guy. The Flames jersey was classic, ballsy and hilarious. He can finish. He has a nose for the net. He is also playing with CMD and should be rocketing up the list as a vet high end offensive player not seeing toughs, right?

    Eberle is a skilled guy, but a fairweather player. He is very valuable to a team that needs what he has. On the Oilers he’s the 6th best forward overall (CMD Hall RNH Drai Pouliot) and replicates a non heavy game.

    I say this because there has been a lot of comments about Eb’s too far either way. He isn’t horrible but to say he’s great is also too far. Given the ask on him defensively and QoT he should have been top ten. His endulged line mates too.

    EDIT: Nice to have you back you jet setter you

  26. Магия 10 says:

    Don’t forget Bettman’s incentive for defense over offense. The more games you get into overtime the closer you come to the .750 record that on average overtime games deliver. We are literally (almost used correctly here) paying owners through playoff revenue to kill offense in hockey.

  27. CrazyCoach says:

    haters: I would be in favor of the NHL changing rink size to match International ice size. Players are so fast now, almost all can skate and make plays at high levels. If the NHL is serious about making a better brand of hockey, this is a measure they should seriously consider.

    Very true, but how do you sell the idea of more skating, less hitting to the troglodytes out there now, who see concussion research/prevention as the “wussification” of the game? There’s also the fact that owners are not willing to give up the two or three rows of seats to increase the ice surface from its present size? The game itself has evolved from 15 years ago when the Jaques Lemaire-influenced rugby on ice, but that’s only due to the rule emphasis instituted by the league.

    Truth is, hockey has not made any major rule changes since the Patrick brothers gave hockey the forward pass through the old Pacific Coast Hockey Association. Incidentally, the PCHA forced the NHA (predecessor to the NHL) into changing their rules after PCHA teams routinely beat NHA teams in head to head games.

    I know I’d like to see the larger ice surface. It certainly would speed up the game a lot

  28. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Stelio Kontos:
    Halfwise,

    I can buy that argument, but I think it would actually increase shot blocking and box protection since shots become more risky. The lock down would still happen in my opinion. So long as players/goalies are too big for the ice, they will have this problem.

    Biggest problem might be the bettman point. It makes playoff races look closer than they are.

    Biggest problem IS the Bettman Point. It rewards the status quo in tied games & removed incentives from both teams to take risks.

  29. RPG says:

    UFC #196. Wow the upsets. Long live the underdog.

  30. Eh Team says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    They should give teams incentive to win games rather than not lose them. So, no overtime. Tie games – 1 point each. Wins – 3 points.

  31. G Money says:

    A couple of interesting player charts over the course of the game:

    http://i.imgur.com/zCFF6VX.png

    http://i.imgur.com/ikx6gMc.png

  32. Zed says:

    Halfwise: I think the refereeing *should* be the easiest thing to improve but would be the quickest to revert.

    The most durable change would be 4 skaters not 5, on North American ice.

    If that can’t happen, higher nets would be cheap and instant ways to get more goals. But the damn officials would just allow more holding and goal challenges.

    It’s a boring and often unwatchable game in its current state.

    Man, you and G have it nailed. The NHL product is a button-down, defensive, mistake-avoiding shell of its former self. Don’t you miss Messier blazing down the wing and firing one into the far side off his back foot? With less scoring, each terrible referee call has a much bigger impact on the game. And I just don’t understand the math and logic behind the Bettman point.

    And yet I can’t stop watching and reading about it. Connor is ridiculous. And I love Yak!

  33. Zelepukin says:

    Zed: Man, you and G have it nailed. The NHL product is a button-down, defensive, mistake-avoiding shell of its former self. Don’t you miss Messier blazing down the wing and firing one into the far side off his back foot? With less scoring, each terrible referee call has a much bigger impact on the game. And I just don’t understand the math and logic behind the Bettman point.

    And yet I can’t stop watching and reading about it. Connor is ridiculous. And I love Yak!

    I agree that the most logical adjustment to make next is refereeing and the Bettman point. Having said that this low-scoring, defensive NHL product isn’t some league management or rules driven mandate.

    This 100% is a result of every player on the ice at all times, becoming very efficient in all skill sets of the game. You know why Messier could fly down the wing and fire off a wrister goal? Cause the D could easily break out with options, opposing forwards wouldn’t be pro-active on a neutral trap and the d-men wouldn’t be on top of him with speed to minimise gap control. Finally, not many goalies get beat nowadays from an off-wing on the rush wrister. That puck is going to get be poke-checked by the D before Mess can even get close to the hashmarks.

  34. Yeti says:

    Eh Team: They should give teams incentive to win games rather than not lose them. So, no overtime. Tie games – 1 point each. Wins – 3 points.

    I would prefer 3 points for regulation win; 2 points for OT win; 1 point for OT loss; 0 points for regulation loss.

  35. knighttown says:

    alice13:
    I don’t understand how bigger nets fix the problem. Just means more shots go in. Bigger nets do not create better or more scoring opportunities,they would just provide the proxy (goals).

    I see the Knighttown bat signal in the sky anytime there’s a debate about today’s style of defense first hockey!

    I love that the conversation is switching away from “changing net size ruins the integrity of the game!!!” which is my equivalent of MOAR BIGGER….the ultimate red herring.

    Why is net size this one true untouchable? Why not standings points now that the 100 point season has gone from elite to “pretty good”.

    Why not the scoring race where Benn’s 87 points would have been well outside the top 20 in the 80’s?

    So I’m glad the net size conversation is now moving in the right direction to the point where you say “help me understand how a bigger net makes for more exciting hockey”.

    A substantial increase in net height (or width) would have a massive impact in that it would eliminate or at least begin to eliminate the butterfly as a viable option. The butterfly evolved because someone did the math and said that because x percent of shots are along the ice or in this capital I shape, blocking this space will result in 80% of shots beings blocked. Then with some movement you can knock off another 12%.

    Staying on your feet and blocking 50% of the net and having to trust your reflexes and movement to get to the other 42%? Math doesn’t work and save percentages would be in the high 80s.

    If the nets are that much larger you now can only block, say, 70% of shots leaving 30% left to move to which is much more difficult from the butterfly, especially if the nets are taller. Goalies standing up immediately becomes an option and perhaps the only option.

    Once goalies can only ensure a 70% save percentage by blocking, or having the puck hit them everything else changes.

    Blocking shots at the point of the shot still remains viable but does fronting/screening for defensemen? So many more shots will sneak past you and the goalie see the puck to make the save it now becomes about getting OUT of the shooting lane instead of into it.

    As Nail Yakupov starts to be able to find twine from 60 feet the defense now has to start defending that space and therefore have opened up more space in the slot for passing.

    Contain and collapse becomes a losing strategy as more pucks go in the net from the perimeter.

    And as it becomes more difficult stretching to impossible for a team or player to reduce scoring chances against, the risk and reward model evolves so that teams choose to play Jonathan Drouin over Mark Letestu.

    A modest increase in net size combined with the fixing of the standings and NFL style of officiating will fix this game forever.

  36. Zed says:

    Zelepukin: I agree that the most logical adjustment to make next is refereeing and the Bettman point. Having said that this low-scoring, defensive NHL product isn’t some league management or rules driven mandate.

    This 100% isa result of every player on the ice at all times, becoming very efficient in all skill sets of the game. You know why Messier could fly down the wing and fire off a wrister goal? Cause the D could easily break out with options, opposing forwards wouldn’t be pro-active on a neutral trap and the d-men wouldn’t be on top of him with speed to minimise gap control. Finally, not many goalies get beat nowadays from an off-wing on the rush wrister. That puck is going to get be poke-checked by the D before Mess can even get close to the hashmarks.

    You’re right.
    Would a longer term fix include wider ice? I don’t think full on Euro ice is required – even modestly wider Finnish ice would help.

  37. Zed says:

    …and bigger nets, for sure!

  38. sliderule says:

    knighttown,

    Great post.

    It has been shown that increasing goal size by width of post would add 1000 goals.

    Combine that with smaller goalie equipment and you will bring back scoring on rush.

  39. Primetime says:

    If they called the 2B as tight as NHL off side no double plays. Intent is enough give the refs discretion just like the DP. I know it will never happen but most offside is so stupid. Baseball figured it out.

    You mean “Baseball HAD it figured out”. They have actually agreed to change this long held understanding and enforce the fact that second base must be tagged starting this year. Even better, they are going to allow the umps to use video replay to review it.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/jayson-stark/post/_/id/1522/making-sense-of-mlbs-new-slide-rules

    NHL isn’t the only league finding ways to make their games longer and more boring for fans while still raising ticket prices….

  40. commonfan14 says:

    kinger_OIL: that 5 minute review of offside was an excellent example of another problem in hockey. Offside should be like double play in baseball. As long as they are close the ump always gives it. 2nd base is never touched they can be 15 feet away. They are always called out. Unless there is puck contact, as long as it’s the flow let the refs continue the game. That forward rush would help hockey so much. Double plays are exciting even if they aren’t called properly because the drama comes from the guy running to first before the catch not the dude at 2nd who is “out”. If they called the 2B as tight as NHL off side no double plays. Intent is enough give the refs discretion just like the DP. I know it will never happen but most offside is so stupid. Baseball figured it out.

    I have two things that are currently driving me nuts about hockey.

    One is right handed players shooting muffin shots with left handed sticks. The other is the offside rule.

    Offsides need to be out of the game yesterday. It’s a ridiculous and reactionary rule brought in based on an extremely brief period where coaches hadn’t had time to adjust to the forward pass and allowed guys to camp out next to the other team’s net.

    The year was 1929, and we’ve been paying for it with reduced offense in the game ever since.

    No coach in the NHL would ever allow the goal sucking that created a need for the rule back then, and yet the rule endures even as offense dries up.

    But, sure, let’s all keep accepting a dozen scoring rushes a game being whistled dead for no real reason.

  41. Halfwise says:

    commonfan14,

    That’s an interesting insight into offside rules.

    All that trapping and lining up across the blue line is enabled by the rigid idea of a D zone and offside.

    Imagine an actual 200 foot game with 200 feet of ice.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    A couple of interesting player charts over the course of the game:

    http://i.imgur.com/zCFF6VX.png

    http://i.imgur.com/ikx6gMc.png

    G, wouldn’t there be extreme score effects at play here? A defensive player like Hendricks is goingot get next to no time in the dying minutes in a game that the Oilers trail, but plenty of it (along with his usual d zone starts) when they are hanging on to a lead.

  43. CapeBretonOilers says:

    I have always thought a simple adjustment — making the posts and crossbar thinner would be enough of a difference to increase goal scoring — several times a game – it seems – a puck dings off the post —

  44. dsr29 says:

    Love this forum. My opinion on bigger ice surface. I lived 3 years in northern Sweden and the game of hockey had never been more boring. The extra space was along the boards. No more scoring chances just less speed in the game. Anyways I have no solution, just an observation.

  45. whatif says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Would the same logic hold true regarding the draft process?

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