Sunday, June 03, 2007

More on kicking in the crease

It's really nice to hear that there are reasonable people like you that can see the big picture, the unintended consequences, of allowing pucks to be kicked into the net.

The reason that it only happens rarely is because is isn't allowed. If it were allowed, every scrum in front of the net would include frantic kicking at the puck by everybody on offense. Goalies wouldn't be the only ones hurt. When I hear people say that allowing goals that were kicked in would make things simpler, I look at goal-mouth scrums for a couple of games and try to imagine what it would be like down there if everybody was kicking at the puck. And it's pretty scary to imagine.
— Patty in Dallas
Here were my original thoughts on the issue.

As an aside, I hear all the time how there aren't hockey fans in many of the new American markets, but it seems like every second email I get is someone from Raleigh or Tampa or Texas and they often have sound reasoning for every point they make.

The league's reach may be meagre on a wide scale, but in individual markets there are definitely growing groups of knowledgeable, hardcore fans. The funny thing is that, this season in particular, it was a lot of the markets that have been around for a long time that really struggled at the gate, and the bottom feeders in attendance the past two years have been St. Louis, Chicago, the Islanders, Washington and New Jersey.


At 1:53 a.m., June 04, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I don't doubt that the fan base is pretty deep in every city in the league. The question in a given market is whether it's wide, and that's where they have a real problem. The number of casual fans is probably much more important to a team's bottom line than is the number of fanatics. I would bet that the amount of money that reaches the owner from each type of fan isn't very different, so it's quantity that matters, not quality.

A diehard fan is much more likely to start a blog. They aren't that much more likely to buy a jersey, they probably aren't at all more likely to buy a beer, and the Nielsen ratings can't tell the two apart.

That's before we get into the question of business community support.

At 8:33 a.m., June 04, 2007, Anonymous Lyle Richardson said...

Four of those five you listed were teams that have played poorly,some for years, so it's not surprising they're doing poorly at the gate. As for the Devils, it's been a continuous problem blamed on the location of their arena.

At 3:47 p.m., June 04, 2007, Blogger El Brucio said...

Good thing someone is thinking of player safety. It's not just the pros who have the best equipment in the world we need to worry about with a rule change like this... it's the kids with their older brother's equipment that may be too small or big at any time during the season. I've played goal with some pretty shoddy equipment when I was young because it was the best I could have at the time. I could easily see myself getting cut in the wrist or even the hand (under side of the blocker) because of skate blades getting too close/erratic movements. Think about all the times a goalie lunges out for a loose puck in a scrum to try and get a whistle. It's bad enough taking all the sticks to those areas... imagine someone kicking at the puck because it was easier than getting their stick on it. Now imagine that with a 12 year old who has grown 4 inches in the past 5 weeks and his wrist is exposed a bit as a result.

I can't believe this wasn't challenged on Hot Stove when they were talking about protecting players in the head shot debate, with apparently unanimous approval of "safety first" amongst the panel.

At 4:13 p.m., June 04, 2007, Blogger Jeff C said...

Anyone who pooh-poohs the idea of player safety should be forced to watch the Clint Malarchuk video for hours on end.


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