Interesting conversation erupted after morning workouts at Stars Camp on Monday, the genesis of which was the topic of the new, thinner, NHL nets.
Cerebral puck-reppeller, Dan Ellis brought up lacrosse’s triangular shaped net as perhaps a better cage for hockey than the current - all be it skinnier - rectangular net. Ellis was funny in that he was both selling the lacrosse net’s attributes and railing against it. Goalies.
Ellis the seller made some good points (as did the salivating players piping in on the lunch hour spitball session). No doubt the best one was the triangle back allowing for a Gretzkypalooza dish-fest from behind the net to scorers lurking and cutting to openings in front. That area would become EVERYBODYS ‘office’. However, it was pointed out that it would also open up much wider passing windows for defensemen when surveying and executing outlet passes from behind their net.
Ellis the netminder mumbled a bit, realized he was wallowing in Goalie Union sabotage, and begged that the topic stay at our ‘trust table’. (Sorry Dan. I needed a blog topic)
Not to be left out, and harboring a strong desire to play devil’s advocate (Not the Brodeur tire-pump one), I sited two potential problems with the lacrosse nets on ice: 1) No place to put the goalie’s water bottle - they use these as a sort of wooby blanket, going to them after goals allowed were big saves. The bottles are also an inviting target for shooters going ‘under the soffit’. My suggestion was to just outfit the goalies with those camelback rehydration systems and be done with them. 2) The net not coming off easily enough so as to prevent injury.
Anyway, here are the two sports different nets juxtaposed:
I took the net adoption suggestion a step further. Maybe hockey should borrow a few more things from the NLL (“box” lacrosse). What things are these? Well things like these:
1. 30 second shot clock
- NLL has this, the NBA has a 24, NFL has a 40/25 play clock…so...
2. Offensive Pick
- Want to open up the game for scorers? Then allow players to set non- moving picks.
3. Penalty shot awarded if team is already down two men and takes a penalty
-This doesn’t happen much but a PS seems a better idea than a loaded, overlapping hockey penalty box.
4. Four Quarters
-I’ve long wondered whether hockey would be better served with quarters and a halftime than three periods.
5. More Scoring
- Last season the top goals against average registered by a NLL goalie was 10.17 (That’s not a decimal placement error).
Lacrosse. Shaq pimps it (The car, not the sport), and now so does the Razorboy (The sport, not that bloody Buick).