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lordstanley

The 2014 Olympic Hockey Thread

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I thought I would add that after the quarterfinals and only two games left, Phil Kessel leads all of the Olympic scorers with 5 goals and 8 points.

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... I could never understand players who hated physical contact. If you initiate contact consistently the defensive players will give you more room, pretty much every time.

Again, watching the Olympic game is instructive. There is lots of contact, but it's contact with a purpose to the play - not the kind of 'line a guy up and run him just because the rules allow it in this situation' that tends to get out of hand in the NHL.

But speaking of the wider ice - I've tried to look this up and couldn't get anywhere in terms of finding the actual dimensions, but does anyone know/remember for certain if back in the day the old Montreal forum was a bigger, wider ice surface - i.e. closer to Olympic than anything in the NHL today? The memories are too old and hazy but the my best recollection is that there was a lot of space between the circles in the old forum and very deep corners.

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Again, watching the Olympic game is instructive. There is lots of contact, but it's contact with a purpose to the play - not the kind of 'line a guy up and run him just because the rules allow it in this situation' that tends to get out of hand in the NHL.

Correct

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I'd be all for the bigger ice if it meant more skating and more offense. But the experience of Euro club leagues seems to show it leads to the opposite. Even if that's counter-intuitive. Teams are forced to the perimeter by the trap-playing lesser teams and you have to bull your way through. The quintessential big ice game might have been the 1-0 Sweden victory over Finland for the gold medal in 2006. I think 4 on 4 is the way to go for a faster-paced, higher-scoring game.

Edit: Wait, that 2006 Olympics final was 3-2 Sweden?! I'm an idiot.

Edited by lordstanley

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My beer league rink has character. 150 ft long only, player benches that you skate onto through an open gate, a Big Monster-like conrete wall above the boards- rather than plexiglass - all down one side of the playing surface.

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...ouch?

It's set about 1 foot back from the boards (ledge in between) so it's rare to scrape your body against it, especially since our league has shoving but no real bodychecking. Some crazy ricochets off the wall by the puck though.

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It's set about 1 foot back from the boards (ledge in between) so it's rare to scrape your body against it, especially since our league has shoving but no real bodychecking. Some crazy ricochets off the wall by the puck though.

Ahhh, I was picturing the concrete right on the boards instead of glass. And since non-checking leagues can become checking at times I just imagined someone getting their head rung off the concrete.

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I'd be all for the bigger ice if it meant more skating and more offense. But the experience of Euro club leagues seems to show it leads to the opposite. Even if that's counter-intuitive. Teams are forced to the perimeter by the trap-playing lesser teams and you have to bull your way through. The quintessential big ice game might have been the 1-0 Sweden victory over Finland for the gold medal in 2006. I think 4 on 4 is the way to go for a faster-paced, higher-scoring game.

Edit: Wait, that 2006 Olympics final was 3-2 Sweden?! I'm an idiot.

One thing specific to the Olympics (I am not knowledgeable about Euro club leagues to know if this holds there as well) is that there are some large talent disparities between teams that motivate the 'park the bus' strategy from the lesser team. If you have teams that are close to each other talent wise, the park the bus strategy becomes less appealling because it becomes less clear if a low scoring game is to their benefit. My suggestion is NHL teams are closer (if not much closer) to one another talent wise than Olympic teams.

Secondly, the NHL rules committee / GMs have (correctly, IMO) indentified skill play as the best way to generate fan interest as they feel it is more entertaining and have taken steps to motivate that. NHL teams are changing their draft & player acquisition strategies accordingly and it also wouldn't surprise me if there is an unspoken (or perhaps spoken) gentlemen's agreeement among the GMs to discourage the trap in general as well (with the aim to help grow the game).

In any event, that is a long way around to express the idea that I don't think larger surfaces lead to trapping, I think large talent disparities as well as individual teams acting unfettered solely in their best interests lead to trapping. I also think it is possible to trap or park the bus on a NHL surface just as easily if a team wishes.

I think 4 on 4 makes the biggest difference on the game in terms of generating offense off of transition as opposed to decreased d-zone coverage based on casual observation. From an entertainment standpoint that probably isn't a bad thing.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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I think large talent disparities as well as individual teams acting unfettered solely in their best interests lead to trapping. I also think it is possible to trap or park the bus on a NHL surface just as easily if a team wishes.

I think 4 on 4 makes the biggest difference on the game in terms of generating offense off of transition as opposed to decreased d-zone coverage based on casual observation. From an entertainment standpoint that probably isn't a bad thing.

I think you are right. If memory serves the prevalence of the trap correlates well with expansion and talent dilution.

4 on 4 is fun in doses, and I do like that we see some of it on penalties and overtime, but I think there is a definite logic to the 3/2 player alignment on the ice. I think you would lose the potential for a lot of the most elegant plays if you lose that 5th man, and in the long run I think you would lose offensive variety and it would make the game more boring.

To me it would be a lot like what I think the 3 pt shot is doing in basketball. Because in today' game the shot is too easy, instead of making the game more exciting, it has destroyed the mid-range game and reduced basketball to only two plays - dunks and threes- less variety of scoring. To me at least - that has made for a more boring game to watch rather than less. You need to be careful what you wish for when you change spectator games.

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I wonder if the big ice would work better if it went longer than wider. May not be practical. But right now, Olympic ice is 10 ft longer and 13 ft wider than NHL ice's 200X85 dimensions. Making it 220 x 95 would be closer to the NHL's ratio, but proportionately bigger all around.

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That was a bummer. The US girls most be demoralized. They had em.

And with around 1:30 to go an American shot from her own blue line and it looked for all the world that it was going to be an empty net goal. Instead it hit the post flush and stayed out.

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And with around 1:30 to go an American shot from her own blue line and it looked for all the world that it was going to be an empty net goal. Instead it hit the post flush and stayed out.

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I'm calling it now. This wont be the classic that we saw from the girls today.

This one gets ugly and Strombone will be in the pipes by the second period.

USA puts up a touchdown in a 6-3 rout.

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I'm calling it now. This wont be the classic that we saw from the girls today.

This one gets ugly and Strombone will be in the pipes by the second period.

USA puts up a touchdown in a 6-3 rout.

Canada will play its best game of the Olympics.

Canada will outshoot the U.S.

Canada will have a slight edge in puck possession.

Canada will lose 3-2. A Carey Price miscue will be the defining moment.

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Not trying to rub it in, because the outcome of tomorrow's 100x more important game remains unknown, but these reactions are priceless:

Edited by lordstanley

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