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The 30 Goal Game

Lightning @ Flyers, November 18, 2010

How to increase scoring in the NHL: don’t play defense.

11 minutes in, the combined score for the Lightning and Flyers was 5 goals.  By 14 minutes in, it was 6 goals.

Just today I read some article about the NHL’s efforts to increase scoring in games.  Seems like this should make them happy.

I disapprove.  I don’t think more goals makes more fun to watch.  In a 30 goal game, each goal is less important and is thus less exciting to see.  Probably the NHL has done some sort of survey and determined that people want to see higher scores but I don’t.  There is plenty of suspense in a non-goal, a near-miss, a good save, as there is in the tedious ratcheting up of the score tally.

Now at 16 minutes, the Flyers score again.  4-3, 7 goals total.  At least things are slacking off a little, not quite on pace for a 30 goal game, but it is only the first period.

Ellis gets pulled but not Bob.  I would pull Bob too.  He isn’t shiny and he doesn’t need 2 bad games in a row.  I wonder how often both goalies get pulled in an NHL game?

What a mess.  Neither team seems able to protect their goalie.

Briere just scored again.  5-3.  Maybe they could put all the goalies on the bench and just play 6 on 6?

Tampa Scores again, shooting one in and out through the back of the net.  4-5 now.

Keeping these goalies in the game seems like unnecessary cruelty.  Neither team is playing adequate defense, why break your goalies?

The Flyers start the second with Boucher in net.  Maybe Lavy just wanted to talk to Bob first.  Maybe it would have been too weird to have both goalies pulled at the same time.

The Flyers have earned a short 5 on 3 power play, or rather the Lightning gave it to them.  It’s been three minutes without a goal, and the Flyers have been on the power play for much of that.  I guess everyone had an intermission talk about playing defense.

As soon as the penalty ends, Stamkos scores for Tampa Bay.  That took a little over 4 minutes.

Now Bob and Boosh both missed the first shots they faced in the game.  Wow.  25 minutes of play and…

Flyers score again.  That’s 2 for Zherdev. The goalie stats are going to hell but a lot of skaters are padding their numbers.

25 minutes=11 goals. No longer on track for a 30 goal game but 20 easy.

Another Flyer scores, who?  Do I care?  A minute later another Lighting strike.

6-7 Flyers, a little over half way through.

I was right, this is actually not as much fun to watch as a 2-3 goal game, at all.

So I decided to go start watching the Sharks game instead.  I was surprised, I could not believe that I was actually, completely, unhesitatingly bored by the Flyers game.  It was a new experience.  How could I be bored watching a Flyers game?  I put that confusion on the backburner.

The Sharks game was also pretty high scoring, for a Sharks game.  It went to overtime, which I hate.  The Sharks rallied mightily in the second period, working their way back from a 2 goal deficit to a 4-2 lead.  Then Dallas scored twice in under a minute to tie it up.   Overtime ended 4-5 Dallas.

I hate overtime, I don’t like it when the Sharks lose, but I still found that game a lot more entertaining than what was, in the end, a 7-8 loss for the Flyers.  Maybe I would have found the third period of the Philly game more entertaining since evidently hardly anyone scored.  But I was fed up and engrossed in the Sharks game.

So, why did the high-scoring game, the thing the NHL is so all in hot bother over, bore me?  I think it’s because I like to watch skating.  It’s a big part of the game, or it’s supposed to be.  Short rushes up and down the ice ending with a pause to restart after someone scores just isn’t the same.   It reminds me of the late 90’s hockey.  Granted, those games were broken up for other reasons, but stopping is stopping.  It is boring.

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