IS WINNING ALL THAT MATTERS?

Jason Gregor
May 29 2013 10:36AM

We've heard the phrase, "It doesn't matter how you win, as long as you win," for years. It makes sense in pro sports, where it is your job to win, but if you win by playing boring, non-creative hockey is it still worth it?

If you ask fans of the LA Kings they will surely say they love Kings' hockey, and it is easy to see why since they've won six straight playoff series. However, I find myself turning off the TV and tuning out of their games on a nightly basis this year.

In 13 playoff games this year the Kings have scored a paltry 26 goals, two goals/game and they've had 29+ shots only five times. Last year, enroute to their first Stanley Cup the Kings scored 57 goals in 20 games, 2.85 goals/game and in 10 of their 20 games they had 28+ shots and in six of those games they fired 37+ shots.

The Kings weren't nearly as offensively challenged/boring last year. This year the Kings have decided to win with boring, uncreative hockey. It works for them, but don't confuse that with exciting or entertaining. Don't let close games fool you into believing they are entertaining. Just because every game is a one goal game shouldn't mean it is exciting.

The Penguins are exciting. The Bruins are exciting, the Hawks/Wings are exciting but the 2013 LA Kings are not.

I wonder if fans have been duped into believing this style of play is actually entertaining? Do you watch games to see guys be smart away from the puck, make no mistakes, pack five guys in front of the net and skate fast with little creative flair? 

I'm sorry, but I don't believe you should pay players four, five or six million dollars because they chip and chase, dump it out of their zone and create little to no offence. The game has much more potential than that, but I feel the culture of hockey has started to brainwash people into believing that defensive hockey is the way to go. Many coaches use it because it is easier to play and easier to control, rather than asking players to be creative and allowing them to make mistakes.

You can find many players who can skate fast, dump and chase the puck, and never try anything creative. Those types of players are a dime a dozen, and it seems the NHL would rather groom that type of player than allow those with skill to flourish.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are a rarity in today's NHL. They encourage creativity, and they are proving you can win with it.

The Penguins have scored 4+ goals in 9 of 11 playoff games. They've had 30+ shots in 8 of their games, and they've given up 30+ shots eight times as well. That is entertaining hockey.

They attack, and in doing so they do expose themselves to allowing the other team some scoring opportunities. Is Dan Bylsma a bad coach because he doesn't preach defence every second of every shift? I don't think so.

I don't buy the argument that the Kings can't play more offensive. They have plenty of skilled players in Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, yet they rarely attack.

The biggest fallacy in the game is that you can't play offensive hockey and keep your goals against down at the same time. The Penguins are proving that you can.

Marc-Andre Fleury was brutal in three games, but since he was replaced by Tomas Vokoun the Penguins have still been able to produce numerous goals without surrendering many.

In his seven starts, Vokoun has faced 239 shots (34.1/game) and he's allowed 14 goals, .941SV%.
In 13 starts, Quick has faced 382 shots (29.3/game) and he's allowed 20 goals, .948SV%.

Are the Kings really benefiting that much more than the Penguins by playing such an atrociously boring style of game? Are the enticing more fans to want to watch? No chance.

Is winning so important that you have to make the game almost unwatchable? I hope most fans realize that the Kings' style of play is not exciting or entertaining. They win, but unless you are diehard Kings' fan I'd hope you don't appreciate it or enjoy their games.

IT IMPACTS LOWER LEVELS

The way the Kings play the game does impact amateur hockey. A lot of the talk surrounding minor hockey in Canada today is focused on the decision by Hockey Canada to ban body checking until bantam. This decision was based solely on player safety, and it is hard to argue with that when you realize that 95% of the kids playing won't play in the CHL, NCAA or NHL.

However, according to Steve Serdachny the skating and skills coach of the Edmonton Oilers and the owner of Serdachny Powerskating and Hockey body checking isn't the major issue within hockey right now.

"The biggest epidemic we have in amateur hockey in Canada is the inability of young players to give and receive passes," Serdachny said on my radio show yesterday.

Serdachny teaches hockey camps around the world, and when he compares the average Canadian youth to kids in Europe our skill development is much lower. We aren't teaching the basic skills often enough.

Too many coaches focus on system play, and that is a major problem. It is easier to teach kids where to stand on the ice than it is to teach them how to accept passes from different angles and different body positions. The LA Kings have some elite level players, but the style of game they play doesn't allow those skills to flourish.

It is all about system play. Stay in your lane, pressure the puck carrier and think defence first.

I'd love to see Hockey Canada implement a limit on the amount of time coaches spend on system play until kids are in peewee. Most of practice time should be spent on improving kid's skating and puckhandling skills. What is the point of learning a system, if the kids don't have the skills to make a play when the get the puck?

It is ridiculous to watch kids in novice learning what their coach deems a "system." Teaching kids basic positioning and the rules of the game like icing and offside are imperative, but we are not spending enough time helping the average player improve their passing skills. When a coach like Serdachny, who teaches hockey camps around the world, recognizes that the skill of the average young Canadian hockey player is significantly less than kids in other countries we should take notice.

COLD HARD CASH...

We have finalized our Ultimate Sports Fan Package, and our final prize is $1,000 in cash. AWESOME.

For the third consecutive year we are doing our Ultimate Sports Fan package for charity. On June 8th I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour, and I've come up with a pretty good package for the diehard sports fan. Click here and donate $100 and you will get one entry into the draw. If you donate $200 you get two entries and so on.

We only take 100 entries and we will raise $10,000 for MS. We have 72 entries left and the draw is next Thursday, June 6th.

This year's winner will get the following: Valued at over $5,000.00

  1. A pair of tickets to the Oilers home opener in October.
  2. A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets.
  3. A beer fridge and beer for a year from Big Rock Brewery.
  4. A signed Jeremy Roenick stick. It is a brand new, he only used it twice.
  5. $500 at vivo ristorante. Every good sports fan needs a good pregame meal.
  6. 20 tickets to Oil Kings opening night game, and you will get an Oil King of your choice to come to your backyard rink or minor hockey practice for an hour. (Player on the roster on November 1st).
  7. A pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets.
  8. You and five of your friends will tee it up at The Ranch Golf and County Club with Meg Storms and Mark Spector and you'll go in style in a Blue Sky Limo.
  9. $1,000 in cash from The Jason Gregor Show.

Keep in mind this sold out in two weeks last year, so if you want a chance to win and help end MS get in the draw today.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#2 Will
May 29 2013, 02:30PM
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Ducey wrote:

DSF, how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

If Chuck is an Oiler, he cannot chuck much wood, never could, never will, and everyone on the world knows this except the Oilers.

If he plays for the "DSF Flavour of the Month Team", then a lot.

Chuck had one good year, but his wood to wood chucked ratio was unsustainable. Not to mention he was chucking softer wood than most other woodchucks. Finally, other bigger woodchucks were able to push him around and keep him from the highest percentage wood-chucking conversion spots. I don't think Chuck is fit to even chuck garbage into a truck, and if he was playing for any other organization, he'd be a call up chucking option at best.

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#3 SrCain
May 29 2013, 12:12PM
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DSF wrote:

SOG:

Game 1 - SJS 35 LAK 20

Game 2 - LAK 31 SJS 31

Game 3 - SJS 40 LAK 27

Game 4 - LAK 24 SJS 24

Game 5 - LAK 29 SJS 24

Game 6 - SJS 26 LAK 25 Game 7 - SJS 26 LAK 18

AVG/Game:

SJS 26

LAK 25

The "high flying" Edmonton Oilers averaged 26.8 shots per game in the regular season when play is looser and the refs are calling many more infractions.

That the games between the Sharks and Kings were generally low scoring affairs hardly made them boring.

Quick has a playoff save percentage of .948 while Niemi is at .930 so I think the lack off offense has an awful lot to do with great goaltending and two evenly matched teams.

Trust Edmontons greatest troll to throw a shot at the oilers when neither the article nor any previous comments even mention them. My god you must be a lonely individual.

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#4 Ducey
May 29 2013, 02:07PM
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DSF, how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

If Chuck is an Oiler, he cannot chuck much wood, never could, never will, and everyone on the world knows this except the Oilers.

If he plays for the "DSF Flavour of the Month Team", then a lot.

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#5 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 29 2013, 10:49AM
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How much of this type of play could be blamed on systems play? Gone are the days of a player just being better/more talented than his opponent.

Kids make it to the NHL on their raw talent and abilities, and then once they arrive, they're trained to do something different. Looks a lot like dead puck era hockey again, especially after the first round. Be great to see the Kings get blown out of the water by the Blackhawks.

A Pitts/Chicago final should atleast be entertaining.

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#6 Ducey
May 29 2013, 11:13AM
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They can easily open up the game by calling the freakin' rules that are already in place.

They call everything in September (remember the Oilers getting a penalty for jumping into the faceoff circle too fast?) including one handed hooking, one handed holding, intereference, etc.

By May, you can pretty much impede anyone all the time. The front of the net is a rugby scrum.

Teams like LA and even Detroit are holding and hooking and slowing down the game all over the place. Detroit seems to be experts at holding the stick. The only goals seem to come off lucky deflections or rebounds.

The reffing is frankly a farce. No other sport changes the rules 3 times a year.

I can't watch it. I can't wait until the playoffs are over.

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#7 Sloppy Joe
May 29 2013, 11:21AM
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I agree with Gregor. I can see how the hitting/grinding aspect to the kings style can be appealing to some (Strudwick said on the radio that he finds the kings exciting becuase of all of the battles). However, for my entertainment dollar, I want creative playmaking and lots of scoring chances - the kings have little of either. They are like a ream of robots who work hard and skate fast. The hard work entertains some fans, and I do not pass judgment on that.

I just find creative playmaking and 5-3 scores a lot more entertaining than unrelenting defensive systems play and 1-0 or 2-1 scores.

I am definitely cheering for a Chi-Pit final. As recently discussed on this site, other teams copy the styles of winners. I don't want an era of NHL where everyone is copying the Kings.

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#8 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 29 2013, 02:13PM
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wiseguy wrote:

Their fans seemed to be having a blast! Is a sports team supposed to make it exciting for THEIR fans. Especially in the playoffs, I don't think the LA Kings gives a damn whether fans everywhere else around the league find them entertaining. When they were marching down the street on their Stanley Cup parade in front of thousands of their cheering fans, I'm sure management doesn't think much about what everyone else thinks.

Pretty sure too when the Oilers were winning their cups in the 80's, every other fanbase hated them. Fans green with envy always find something to complain about successful teams yet if we had the LA Kings here in town and they were the defending cup champs and making another run to repeat this year, we would be beside ourselves in how AWESOME the team is. DSF of course would break down the advanced statistics to show how the team is really not as good as they seem and it's just a matter of time before they crash and suck. All this negativity toward winning hockey is just his attitude rubbing off on the rest of us. Be better!

I think you are missing the point wildly here.

Fans of a particular team will most likely cheer for wins at any costs (foot in the crease? who cares! hand ball? who cares! etc.).

JG is pretty upfront about that. It's an obvious observation.

However, fans of a particular sport have a vested interest in how the game functions, i.e., that's why we debate about rule changes and efforts to increase offence.

Moreover, the sport itself has a vested interest in how the game operates as entertainment and how its audience experiences it.

If a substantial portion of already committed fans of a given sport find the product inferior, boring, etc. and turn away, that is a huge problem for the sport.

This isn't about jealousy. That doesn't even make sense. The same people complaining about one team's style of play are extolling the style of play of other teams.

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#9 Hambone
May 29 2013, 11:08AM
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I disagree and don't understand why all the media is all over this series, calling it boring and hard to watch. It's awesome playoff hockey!

Maybe the media just watches too much hockey/sports all year long and are spoiled rotten by it. I thought it was a great series despite low scoring.

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#10 Archaeologuy
May 29 2013, 11:19AM
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I know it wasnt popular at the time, but I was a huge fan of those Devils teams in the late 90's and early 2000's. Most cried about the trap but I loved watching those guys play. Lots of odd man rushes for the Devils back then, the best goalie in the world, and Scott Stevens was playing a brand of hockey that would make Shanahan crap his pants. It was spectacular.

It's not like the Kings are running out a no name team of misfits like the Wild used to do. They have some world class players.

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#11 SrCain
May 29 2013, 11:26AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

End to end action where plays get broken up by smart defensive plays. Physical play and good goaltending.

Yep that's sure boring hockey.

End to end, sure, action, no.

Boring? absolutely. Gregor hit the nail on the head with this one.

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#12 freeze
May 29 2013, 10:50AM
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"The biggest epidemic we have in amateur hockey in Canada is the inability of young players to give and receive passes," Serdachny said on my radio show yesterday."

This has been a huge problem for the Oilers too.

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#13 Will
May 29 2013, 11:02AM
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Huh,

This just couldn't be further from what I've been watching. The LA St. Louis series was war. The San Jose series went to game seven, with Quick and Niemmi making spectacular saves. That's why it was a low scoring series. Punishing hits on every play, constant pressure. If that is boring hockey then what on earth is exciting hockey? The 9 - 5 Pens Philly games form last year? Please. Why not just go watch a game of shinny.

LA has had some of the most complete hockey series I've seen with amazing offence, defence, and incredible gaol tending. What are you asking the coach to do? Open up his seems for the sake of making the game more exciting?

Don't get me wrong Gregor I love the way the Oilers play and an Oilers Hawks game is about as good as it gets for my money, but I have to disagree that the LA playoffs have been boring hockey. Nashville, Detroit last year was boring hockey.

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#14 Spydyr
May 29 2013, 11:09AM
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Just win baby!!! Al Davis

“Winning isn't everything--but wanting to win is.” ― Vince Lombardi Jr. Seven years out of the playoffs.Come on now.

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#15 Hambone
May 29 2013, 11:17AM
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@Ducey

I'd personally rather watch back-and-forth 5-on-5 hockey than a penalty every 5 seconds. Regular season NHL reffing is a joke...you get a penalty for breathing on a guy these days.

Those games in September are hard to watch with all the joke calls...absolutely no flow and games decided by special teams and referees. That is not exciting hockey.

I'd rather see a 1-0 game with hardly any calls then a 4-3 game with 30 minutes in powerplay....

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#16 Jerico
May 29 2013, 11:17AM
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I think LA hockey in the playoffs is very exciting, LA vs. STL was great hockey. If I had to choose a series to watch LA would be in it.

I respectfully disagree with you Jason

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#17 BRHLBryce
May 29 2013, 11:39AM
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I don't know if you watched the Kings-Blues series, but that was probably the best series of hockey I've watched that I didn't have a rooting interest in.

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#18 westcoastoil
May 29 2013, 11:52AM
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Ducey wrote:

They can easily open up the game by calling the freakin' rules that are already in place.

They call everything in September (remember the Oilers getting a penalty for jumping into the faceoff circle too fast?) including one handed hooking, one handed holding, intereference, etc.

By May, you can pretty much impede anyone all the time. The front of the net is a rugby scrum.

Teams like LA and even Detroit are holding and hooking and slowing down the game all over the place. Detroit seems to be experts at holding the stick. The only goals seem to come off lucky deflections or rebounds.

The reffing is frankly a farce. No other sport changes the rules 3 times a year.

I can't watch it. I can't wait until the playoffs are over.

This is bang on. There's no question that the LA SJ series had some great intensity, spectacular goaltending and some big hits....but the league has let things go back to a clutch fest.

Frankly the turning point seems to be the Van. Bos. final where the refs ate their whistles and ever since the holding and grabbing has been on the rise. The NHL officiating these playoffs is embarrassing. It's so inconsistent from game to game and series to series.

The NFL seems to be pretty popular and they don't adjust the officiating at all for the playoffs. You don't suddenly need to haul a guy down completely for a pass interference in the Super Bowl

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#19 DSF
May 29 2013, 12:00PM
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SOG:

Game 1 - SJS 35 LAK 20

Game 2 - LAK 31 SJS 31

Game 3 - SJS 40 LAK 27

Game 4 - LAK 24 SJS 24

Game 5 - LAK 29 SJS 24

Game 6 - SJS 26 LAK 25 Game 7 - SJS 26 LAK 18

AVG/Game:

SJS 26

LAK 25

The "high flying" Edmonton Oilers averaged 26.8 shots per game in the regular season when play is looser and the refs are calling many more infractions.

That the games between the Sharks and Kings were generally low scoring affairs hardly made them boring.

Quick has a playoff save percentage of .948 while Niemi is at .930 so I think the lack off offense has an awful lot to do with great goaltending and two evenly matched teams.

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#20 Ducey
May 29 2013, 12:06PM
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@DSF

Save % is a reflection of team defense as well of good goaltending.

Off topic:

Torts fired from NYR. If anyone suggests he comes to EDM, they should be punched in the head (apparently thats legal this time of year).

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#22 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 29 2013, 12:57PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Oilers weren't an offensive team this year. Using them as an example of an offensive team is laughable and inaccurate.

They didn't score many goals ES and they didn't generate shots. They were 26th in the league in SF, and 29th in SA. So, while not shooting they gave up a lot. Opposite of the Kings. The fact the Kings/Sharks generated as few shots as as the Oilers only proves how awful and unexciting that series was.

You beat me to it...

but these are the contortions a troll must go through...

At any rate, it's worth noting there's a matter of personal taste here, I don't doubt the sincerity (nor does it appear do you) of those that enjoy tight, defensive-system hockey, I just radically disagree with them and assume they hold a minority position.

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#23 Rocket
May 29 2013, 01:00PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Yeah it's nice to see the media calling these teams out for what they are:boring.

I thought sports were supposed to be fun for the fans to watch?

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#24 rubbertrout
May 29 2013, 01:16PM
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The Pittsburgh Penguins are a rarity in today's NHL. They encourage creativity, and they are proving you can win with it.

Of course you can win with creativity. All you need is two of the best players in the world. I guess all everyone else needs to do is somehow acquire the services of Crosby and Malkin and we can see a lot more of this offensive and creative hockey.

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#25 Will
May 29 2013, 01:53PM
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@OilClog

Don't ask him that, he'll simply post biased cherry picked stats to back up a woodchuck's wood chucking percentage, and why the Oilers are not able to chuck as much wood as said woodchuck.

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#26 wiseguy
May 29 2013, 02:00PM
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Rocket wrote:

Yeah it's nice to see the media calling these teams out for what they are:boring.

I thought sports were supposed to be fun for the fans to watch?

Their fans seemed to be having a blast! Is a sports team supposed to make it exciting for THEIR fans. Especially in the playoffs, I don't think the LA Kings gives a damn whether fans everywhere else around the league find them entertaining. When they were marching down the street on their Stanley Cup parade in front of thousands of their cheering fans, I'm sure management doesn't think much about what everyone else thinks.

Pretty sure too when the Oilers were winning their cups in the 80's, every other fanbase hated them. Fans green with envy always find something to complain about successful teams yet if we had the LA Kings here in town and they were the defending cup champs and making another run to repeat this year, we would be beside ourselves in how AWESOME the team is. DSF of course would break down the advanced statistics to show how the team is really not as good as they seem and it's just a matter of time before they crash and suck. All this negativity toward winning hockey is just his attitude rubbing off on the rest of us. Be better!

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#27 David S
May 29 2013, 02:54PM
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Will wrote:

Chuck had one good year, but his wood to wood chucked ratio was unsustainable. Not to mention he was chucking softer wood than most other woodchucks. Finally, other bigger woodchucks were able to push him around and keep him from the highest percentage wood-chucking conversion spots. I don't think Chuck is fit to even chuck garbage into a truck, and if he was playing for any other organization, he'd be a call up chucking option at best.

*WISERHOOD SLOW CLAP*

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#28 Big Perm
May 29 2013, 03:37PM
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Bigger ice-surface would solve more of the game's current downfalls than most people think.

Imagine the young Oilers on a larger surface. Get the NHL to approve this if any team wishes to play on an Olympic, or at least a larger ice-surface.

Baseball has different sized fields everywhere. Adds to home field advantages...

Main obstacle, of course, is Owners unwilling to sacrifice seats.

Mr. katz, maybe it would be worth it for a shot at a few cups before other teams adapt.

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#29 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 29 2013, 05:07PM
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wiseguy wrote:

The NHL All-Star game is free wheeling with chances galore traded on both sides, yet we have very little interest in the game. The game ends 10-8, yet we all agree that without the intensity and physical play, it is just a scrimmage game. As a fan of the Oilers, our goal is to cheer for our team in their quest for the Stanley Cup. I'd string up management/coaching if they changed a winning style just to be more entertaining. My response is to the number of people who agree with Jason's "I don't buy the argument that the Kings can't play more offensive. They have plenty of skilled players in Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, yet they rarely attack" More importantly, it is the coach's ability to be able to get their offensively talented stars to buy into a system that results in winning the cup that is most impressive to me. Isn't that what we've all complained about this year about Taylor Hall dipsy-doodling on solo sorties only to turn the puck over and getting scored on? We bemoan that our players aren't buying into the system. Are we that addicted to ELPH that we've lost track of how to build a good team? Are we going to tell fans of other teams that we should know a little about "good hockey" because we have 5 cups, just in case that was in question?

Taylor Hall??

you think we're losing because of him?

That is literally insane.

Also, if anyone seemed to have trouble implementing RK's "up pressure" system is wasn't him. Not by a long shot.

Who is advocating the Oilers post 06 as a model for anything?

This is a complete straw man. The "models" such as they are, aren't LAK vs. Oilers.

Re-read the damn article.

Also...

The All-Star game? what?

What's with the straw men?

The alternatives at hand are PIT and CHI. Address them. They manage to play with "intensity" and "physical play" without being more boring than watching paint dry.

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#30 Rama Lama
May 29 2013, 10:41AM
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The LA KIngs are taking a page out of the "Rangers's" playbook..........dump and chase, and crash the net.

As boring as this is ........it seems to be working for the Kings. I doubt anyone will remember how boring they were to watch when the rise the cup. I for one will continue to watch Chicago.......I hope when the Oilers grow up they play just like them.

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End to end action where plays get broken up by smart defensive plays. Physical play and good goaltending.

Yep that's sure boring hockey.

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#32 mayorblaine
May 29 2013, 10:48AM
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this is a good post.

defence is a learned skill. much like offence but it takes not near as much time to master or be proficient at.

teach skill and creativity.

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#33 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 29 2013, 10:53AM
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Isn't skill development a big component of the overall LTPD (long term player development) model?

At any rate, I completely agree that the two LAK series this playoffs so far has bored me to tears.

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#34 The Beaker
May 29 2013, 11:05AM
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I'm sure every team would play way more offensively if they had Crosby, Iginla, Letang and Malkin, calibre players.

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#35 waiting4six
May 29 2013, 11:17AM
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Winning is everything. I'm so sick of seeing the lowly Oilers in the bottom of the standings. If you watched game 7 last night the Kings defense were able to gain the neutral zone after a turn over, with patience and make a solid pass that lead to a zone entry. If the Oilers are ever going to make the playoffs we need a #1 defense man that can log huge minutes and get the puck to our forwards in the neutral zone.

However I have a funny feeling that if Nichushkin, and Monahan are off the board, the Oilers #7 (Lindholm) will be traded for a defense man.

Does Hemksy and the 7th overall + get you a legitimate franchise defense-man?

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#36 sloppy joe
May 29 2013, 11:28AM
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Regarding the reffing, I agree that it is frustrating how much the rules change from the regular season to the playoffs. The calls are ticky-tack in the extreme at the beginning of the season, and obstruction rules are out the window in the playoffs.

If they could fall somewhere in the middle and do it consistently, I think it would be a big help.

I think the Bruins-Leafs series may have some effect on this. Nobody cared when the Bruins mauled the Nucks. When the Bruins mauled the leafs, media in the east cried bloddy murder. For the record, can't stand the nucks (mainly because of their fans) or the leafs (mainly because eastern media shoves them down my throat). However, my sense is that the leafs nation feel wronged by the officiating in that series, and the league might actually pay attention to them.

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#37 Dave
May 29 2013, 11:35AM
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Comical, lots of fans here complaing it's boring, but who probably were the same fans who watched the 06 team play a 1-2-2 or trap their way to a cup final. We liked it then. If you are a fan of the team you won't complain at the time.

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#38 John Chambers
May 29 2013, 11:37AM
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Well, it is exciting for fans when your team is still in the playoffs. The Oilers in '06 didn't play a scintillating brand of hockey, and yet I would be elated if a playoff run like that occured once a decade.

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#39 SrCain
May 29 2013, 11:38AM
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The Beaker wrote:

I'm sure every team would play way more offensively if they had Crosby, Iginla, Letang and Malkin, calibre players.

So having Kopitar, Carter, Brown, Richards, and Doughty isn't enough to play an up tempo attacking system? I think it's coaching that's killing the excitement level. A coaches job is to win or he won't have a job, since defense is easier to teach and play that's what we get. Sutter is the most boring person in hockey, and his team plays just like it. I wish if teams scored 4 or more goals in a game, they get an extra point in the standings. It would encourage offense. Although in the playoffs it obviously wouldn't work.

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#40 andrewmk20
May 29 2013, 11:53AM
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Agreed, I only tuned in for the last 10 minutes to see who would win. I preferred watching the Penguins series and the Detroit/Chicago series because there was actually skill hockey in those two series. Rangers and Kings games are really tough to watch for 60 minutes.

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#41 Fresh Mess
May 29 2013, 12:09PM
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Tortorella sacked. No surprise but Sather should be next.

The game has been crap for 15 years. Watch a series from 25 years ago, it's much better hockey and I prefer the players from that era.

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#42 Pucker - B class
May 29 2013, 12:11PM
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freeze wrote:

"The biggest epidemic we have in amateur hockey in Canada is the inability of young players to give and receive passes," Serdachny said on my radio show yesterday."

This has been a huge problem for the Oilers too.

YES. Pucks bouncing off sticks. Passes to wrong side of the body. Not getting open. Not passing to openings. This has been frustrating to watch for a few years. Particularly since the Oilers have had problems just getting possession of puck only to quickly turn it over again.

I think since the original CANADA/USSR series, the superior puck handling ability of Europeans has been obvious. The gap is closing but it's still there.

Perhaps Hockey Canada could look at getting rid of offsides and icings in the younger age groups. Make it more like pond hockey, or some sort of hybrid. I'm sure the kids would have fun. I'm sure their puck handling skills would improve and the pressure would be off the coaches to teach systems. Especially at U10 levels.

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#43 DSF
May 29 2013, 12:18PM
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Ducey wrote:

Save % is a reflection of team defense as well of good goaltending.

Off topic:

Torts fired from NYR. If anyone suggests he comes to EDM, they should be punched in the head (apparently thats legal this time of year).

I agree and both teams have stellar defensive corps but suggesting there were few scoring chances is just wrong.

Teams like LA and SJ are not going to try and play river hockey when they know that won't be successful.

Interesting thing is the Oilers are going to be moving into a division with 3 of the biggest and heaviest teams in the league in LA, SJ and Anaheim.

It'll be interesting to see how MacT adapts.

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#44 Benny Botts
May 29 2013, 12:25PM
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@Jason gregor Jason, I agree with you a 100%. There is way to much system play within the younger levels of minor hockey, which needs to change asap. However I have to slightly disagree on the LA Kings. Is it riverboat hockey? No. But it is hard nosed, aggressive playoff hockey and I will take that anyday. I think the media is making this a bigger story then it is. I would love the oilers to be able to play a system that would let them win whether it be defensive or offensive. As a die hard fan you just want to see your team WIN!! I will use GSP and MMA as an example. I am a die hard GSP fan, have been since the start. He takes slack every fight for taking it to the ground, and never being able to finish. I could careless!! As long as he wins, I love the fight! It seems that there is a different style of play in the NHL winning the cup every year, and I think thats great for the game of hockey. You need teams like LA, STL, and NYR in the NHL just as much as you need the PITT, CHI, and DET of the world. To me having those different styles in the game is only a good thing.

**EDIT** And as a hockey fan I would also have to disagree that i am "DUPED" into thinking this is entertaining hockey...come on man..

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#45 lolhockey
May 29 2013, 12:27PM
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I dunno, I thought last night's game was pretty exciting, especially in the third with LA trying to protect the 1 goal lead. Even more exciting if I were a SJ or LA fan.

On a completely unrelated note, what did you guys think about Fast and Furious 6? Were there a lot of explosions?

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#46 Ryan@
May 29 2013, 12:45PM
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Ducey wrote:

Save % is a reflection of team defense as well of good goaltending.

Off topic:

Torts fired from NYR. If anyone suggests he comes to EDM, they should be punched in the head (apparently thats legal this time of year).

Not only team defense, but d-men that can pass the puck and forwards in position that can receive it. Watching the third period yesterday, the one thing that struck me is how rare it was to see the D on either team rim the puck compared to watching an Oilers game. The D on both LA and SJ would take a hit if needed to make a tape to tape pass to a foward that was in position for it. Not having the wingers fumble around for a puck along the boards makes the break out so much easier to manage............

Again, until the Oilers upgrade the blue line the team will not go anywhere regardless of how big the forwards are and stellar the goalie is.

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#47 Rocket
May 29 2013, 12:55PM
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This article is kind of depressing Jason. Playoff hockey is boring & kids are not learning fundamentals anymore.

I would love to disagree with you Gregor but watching the playoff over the last couple of years, this seems to be the case. That L.A./StL series was pretty entertaining but I'm getting pretty sick of watching almost every shot get blocked by a player tht is not the goalie.

It seems like playing stronger defence than offence wins championships in most sports these days. Remember when spectator sports were fun to watch?

Also, how are kids not learning how to handle the puck anymore? who is coaching these kids? I played minor hockey not too long ago & we practised passing all the time. Strange.

(Sorry about the long post. It's been a while)

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#48 Clarko
May 29 2013, 12:57PM
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DSF wrote:

I agree and both teams have stellar defensive corps but suggesting there were few scoring chances is just wrong.

Teams like LA and SJ are not going to try and play river hockey when they know that won't be successful.

Interesting thing is the Oilers are going to be moving into a division with 3 of the biggest and heaviest teams in the league in LA, SJ and Anaheim.

It'll be interesting to see how MacT adapts.

The shots were 5-3 in the 1st period and I hardly watched a minute after that. If I wanted to see hardly any scoring or scoring chances, then I'd tune into a soccer match. I completely dislike the watching the Kings. Winning hockey, yes - far from entertaining though.

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#49 Curious
May 29 2013, 01:08PM
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Quote from Ray Ferraro "@rayferrarotsn: I find it absolutely astounding those who are saying LA-SJ was boring .. Are you kidding? So fast, physical - great chances, goaltending"

I dont need to see 8 goals a game for a game to be exciting. These were 2 big strong teams going at it. The games were battles. Solid defense is as exciting for me as offensive hockey.

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#50 Benny Botts
May 29 2013, 01:11PM
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Everyone that complains about the kings, knows what their going to get but then comes and complains and says they couldn't watch a minute of it... I have an easy fix, dont watch it.

There needs to be these kind of teams in the NHL. Are they predominant in the NHL? I would argue no, but the NHL needs and always will have varied styles of systems in the league thats the bottom line.

Thats what confuses me about people and media complaining about it. There always have been and always will be teams like the kings. Dont watch it if you dont like it...Simple

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