Thursday, June 25, 2015

Overtime Changes

Remember when games finished in a tie and we'd go "ho hum". These seemed rare back then as there was more scoring (a.k.a. excitement) and Gretzky would mock teams calling them "Mickey Mouse". Remember those glorious times? Remember?
Well now "Dead Puck Hockey"--trap-style defenses perfected by late-90's New Jersey is the mantra with teams like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Arizona, Nashville, and Tampa Bay. And it's bloody and painfully boring. Actually, I'd prefer some blood, so it's just boring--especially during the supposed exciting playoffs. Yay, my team won 2-1 by taking no risks and playing a 1-3-1 basketball-style zone defense. It's why I'm glad Jon Cooper's Bolts didn't win the Cup.
Then there's the shootout. I love it and hate it at the same time. For one, there are way too many games going to a shootout (reason: see previous paragraph). Then there's the ones that go a million rounds and Marty Marincin finally pots one. Say what? A shutdown defensemen?
So after a successful trial run in the AHL with 4 on 4 for 3 min and 3 on 3 for 4 min overtime and fewer games going to a shootout, NHL GMs have approved the use of a 3 on 3 overtime for the upcoming season with board of govs approval. That's good news, but they also need to make wins worth 3 points. I did the analysis and only a couple of teams would have benefited and two would have not, and only slightly, so it's worth doing.
So which team does this benefit? Why the Oilers of course. With a swath of young, fast, skilled talent, imagine Hall, McDavid, and Klefbom on the 1st unit and Nuge, Ebs, and Schultz on the 2nd unit, and few teams will be able to keep up.
"Dead Puck Hockey" takes one to the face.

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