Earlier today, I had come up with a real zinger, an amusing remark that was sure to garner a chuckle from all who were fortunate enough to read it. At first I thought I would post it at Crawl Across the Ocean
(I love those plugs), a response to one of Declan's thought-provoking pieces. Upon further reflection though, I decided that it would be a disservice to my loyal readers not to put it front and centre on Skeeter's Blog (no need for a link here as you already know where it is, but I have to tell you I was tempted, very tempted). Unfortunately there was a thing called "Work" that got in the way. I tell you if they didn't pay a decent wage I'd ...
Anyways here it is several hours later and I'm finally ready to unveil my masterpiece. There's just one thing holding me back ... it's gone. For the life of me I can't remember what on earth it was. I thought it might be related to the discussion on the NHL that I read earlier today at Crawl Across the Ocean
, but alas I'm still drawing a blank. It's as gone as those things we say to our wives (significant others) that they try to remind us of, but for whatever reason we just don't remember. I swear they make the stuff up sometimes.
Oh maybe it just wasn't meant to be. My time will come.
... If all goes to plan, this time tomorrow I'll be sitting back and enjoying a pint at the Penny Whistle in Guelph. An excellent turn-out is expected for the Outlaw League's first official road trip (the Outlaw League is a junior hockey fantasy league). Hopefully the first of many to come. It's funny that in 7 years of NHL fantasy league play, not once did we talk about having a road trip to an NHL game. I'm sure there are a lot of factors; money being the first thing that comes to mind, and the time of year not helping much either. Having said that though, I don't think that's it. Quite frankly, going to an NHL game just isn't all that fun. I think I'll take it a step further and come out and call it flat-out boring.
Don't get me wrong, I'd still love to go to a play-off game where the crowd is into, and the overall intensity is raised a couple of notches but other than that, I'd have to say no thank you. It pains me to say this but that's the simple truth. I do still enjoy watching it on the tube once in a while, in particular some of the Western conference play, but I think that's largely due to having a vested interest in the game. I can't help but think how much more enjoyable the game could be if the players could actually skate. I love the contact but the clutching, grabbing, obstruction has got to go (many of us have been saying this for years). I don't really blame the players as you do what you have to do to compete. I never really played the game so obviously it doesn't mean as much coming from me but I did play a little ball hockey. My first thought was to say that I did my fair share of holding to try to contain the more skilled players but come to think of it, I didn't do all that much.
I enjoyed some limited success because I was willing to outwork my opponent (in fact my whole team was). We were first into the corners, we hustled back on defence, and we made quick changes. As I wasn't really a scorer, when I didn't have the ball I would go to the net to create some traffic, with the hope of maybe getting a rebound. I had no problem with a defender that tried to lean into to me and move me out of the way. What I did have a problem with though was when he held my stick. Essentially the defender was taking away a scoring opportunity by breaking the rules. That is a penalty and it should be called as such. That's just one of many such infractions that plague the game. Obstruction in the neutral zone (and all zones for that matter) is obviously a big one.
My point here is that if the NHL would simply inforce the rules that already exist (and maybe reduce the size of the goalie equipment a bit), the end result would be a vastly improved product. I know they've tried in the past for a few weeks but they always regress to the status quo. It's very puzzling and quite frankly it's killing the game in my opinion.
No zinger but an article nonetheless.