Hockey Thoughts (the game, not the lockout)
My buddy Kevin, who goes to many hockey games with Chris and myself during regular non-lockout-year seasons, has started his own blog. It's not entirely devoted to hockey, but as he's such a big fan I'm thinking hockey will be a major topic over there.
Today he has a post I think you should read, about how to improve the game of hockey. It's not at all related to the lockout, but is more about making the game more exciting and increasing scoring. He and I have often talked about this very topic he brings up, and I have to say I agree with him. Go here to read it.
I personally feel like rules should be rules. I get quite aggrevated about any sport where certain rules aren't called. Like when the NFL announcer calls something a "ticky-tack" call. Or when the no-penalties people start their chorus of "let them play" during any sport's playoff period. It's simple: if you want no call, then change the rule to allow the behavior you seek. If you want to let them play, then alter the rules. Don't call some things all year long and then let them slide during the biggest games of the year! That's ridiculous. If anything, you should be calling the penalties more often during the playoffs, because so much more is on the line. If it's a rule, call it...on the opening game of the year and on the closing championship game.
The logic of "let me get away with more since it's the most important game" just seems backwards to me. If you love the sport, then love it's rules and freaking don't break them. If you love the sport but hate the rules....well, then you actually hate the sport. Go play something different, or invent your own sport with no rules. It's just silly. All this talk of "let them play" comes from people who would claim to love the sport and its traditions and such. But the rules are as much a part of the traditions as anything else! Kevin is right on here, call the rules as written, in the small and in the big games...and the game improves. Slack off on the rules and the game goes to hell. Just look at the NBA.