Yardbarker- “It’s impossible to score. All you gotta do is a math equation. You go to 1980 when the puck went in the net. You got the average size of the goalies in the NHL and the average size of the net. You keep growing the net bigger, that would make the game the same. We change the game every year because we don’t want to change the game. The net’s too small for the size of the goalies. Period.” -Mike Babcock
Oh sure, this is a great idea. Let's play hockey with soccer nets, and since the goalies are too good, we can just put giant parking cones in the middle to stop the occasional puck. Might as well get rid of offsides and icing while were at it. No more face-offs, just take the puck out behind the net. Get rid of hitting too. How can players be expected to score when they have to worry about other players stopping them from doing so? Anything to make the game more high scoring, even if it completely destroys the integrity of the sport.
I got to say, I didn't see this coming from a student of the game like Mike Babcock. Like if you had given me the quote without a name attached to it I would have assumed that it came from some brainless schmuck that spends all his time on a message board. It reeks of something a casual fan that only watches during the playoffs and has never came within 100 miles of stepping on an ice rink would say. That just speaks to how bad of a proposal this is. Why in the fuck would we want the sport to resemble what it was back in 1980? The quality of game was utter dog shit. Goalies were terrible. Shooters didn't have to be accurate. Goals were too easy to come by. You know what the biggest obstacle was to scoring in 1980? The fact that you basically mug and assault your opponent without fear of going to the box. You know what else 1980 didn't have? $300 dollar sticks that bigger, stronger, faster, and more talented players could use to put the puck literally anywhere they wanted at unbelievably high rates of speed. Sure, the size and skill of the goalies has made it more difficult to score, but there are just as many factors that have made it easier too.
There have been plenty of changes made to increase scoring in the NHL. Making some egregiously unheard of change to the size of the net doesn't have to be one of them. Players can now skate freely around the ice without fear of obstruction. Powerplay situations are more prevalent than they have ever been. The skill level of the players is at an all-time high. The opportunity for scoring chances has been increased dramatically. That doesn't mean we should make said scoring chances more efficient. I am a Devils fan for fuck's sake. I could definitely stand to see my team score more goals. However, I want to see them score more goals because they have gotten better at scoring goals, not because scoring goals has become easier. I like to think that I am not one of those fans that is instinctually resistant to change, but when that change would almost certainly sacrifice the sanctity of the game than I have no problem being stubborn. Mike Babcock might know the sport better than I do, but that doesn't always mean he knows what the fuck he's talking about.
P.S. The Lou Lamoriello I used to know would have none of this shit going on within his organization, although this could certainly explain that....