Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Avoid Asterisk

Forget that.

I certainly don’t think they should change the nets in the NHL.

There’s talk of making the nets bigger in order to allow more goals and increase the entertainment value of the game.

I’m entertained by brilliant saves and close shots. I really don’t see the problem. Players will find ways to score with more tic-tac-toes and breathtaking, pinpoint sniping.

Last night’s game between my consistently inconsistent Senators and the Predators had plenty of goals with a final score of 7-5!

Some say goalies are too big. The 12 goals scored in the game last night were against Ottawa’s Craig Anderson at 6’2’ and Pekka Rinne for Nashville at 6’5”. They were not too big.

There have been plenty of changes to goalie equipment; blockers, sticks, helmets, trappers and pads. There have been changes to crease size and crease accessibility.

Smaller equipment may be an answer, as long as protection of goalies is not compromised.

Even the role of goalies in the game has been changed. At one time, NHL goalies had to immediately drop any pucks they caught and were not allowed to fall down to stop a shot.

It was Perce LeSuer, a goalie with the Senators, who came up with the first crossbar on an NHL net in 1912. His proposal kept the 6 foot by 4 foot opening but added a webbed top 17 inches deep at the top and his design made the net 22 inches deep at the base. Before that, nets were open at the top.

Go ahead, make changes if you must, but don’t touch net size or angle the posts. The stats earned by the great players who make up the legacy of the NHL should stand against the numbers collected by modern players, just as they always have. 

Avoiding an asterisk situation, that should be the goal.

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