The NHL Needs to Make a Change!

02-24-2016

The three-point line was introduced to the National Basketball Association during the 1979-1980 season, and the rest is history. (1) Basketball became a more open and transitional game due to the line’s existence and despite the early criticism (and sustained criticism from basketball purists), the added paint on the court has made for a better and less predictable game.

The three-point line allows for teams to stay in games longer with the added opportunity to make up for late game deficits as seen in numerous variations, which probably is the greatest bright side to the three-point line. Other than the added notion of anything can happen, the three adds hope for players that have greater shot range even if they’re smaller sized in the big man ruled world of the NBA. The three opens up the court from suffocating defenses and allows those previously mentioned big men to breathe, allowing for more variations to score more efficient buckets closer to the hoop as well.

Still, the best bright side to the extra point shot is the allure of the added points both players and teams benefit from with an added three-pointer. One of the setbacks of the three is the difficulty in finding efficient sharpshooters from beyond the arc, but when they are discovered they are adored.

Quarter century later and its probably safe to assume that the three-point line has cemented its legacy in the NBA. It changes up the same old story of 2+2+2+2+2+2=12, to be cut nearly in half with 3+3+3+3, allowing the procrastination of a built up deficit a team has allowed to be easily made up.

The other night, the St. Louis Blues took on the San José Sharks in an NHL Western Conference showdown that the Sharks went onto win 6-3. (2) In that game, seven of the nine scored goals were within a sticks distance from the crease of the goal. Sharks forward, Tomas Hertl added two goals in the first period off of point blank ricochets rebounding  from the Blue’s goalie. The ways teams are looking to score is by causing chaos in front of the net and hoping for odd bounces, kind of like when down-low offense dominated the NBA. The game is more predictable and needs a change or maybe just an addition.

In Monday’s game, the Blues found themselves down 3-1 after the first period. Personally as an at home spectator I tuned out thinking the chance for a comeback was a long shot. However, maybe that’s the cure this spectator and this game needs… the temptation of a long shot!

The Blues exchanged goals for goals with the Sharks to make the score 5-3 halfway into the third period. Even though, the NHL allows for the craziest of outcomes late in games it was hard to feel that St. Louis would get back in the game. However, the Blue’s third goal was scored from a shot beyond the Shark’s defensive face-off circles. Now, let’s say that there was a line after the face-off circles that ran to the blue line that we called the two-point zone that had a rule that said if a is shot from this area and goes in untouched by a shooter’s teammate it is worth two points!

BOOM, THERE’S YOUR NBA THREE-POINT LINE CREATED!

Take our game of dissection for example. Suddenly, thanks to Jay Bouwmeester’s distance shot St. Louis only trails 5-4. Now, any second with the right shot from the right location of the ice and the Blues could have completely came back to take the lead!

The games would be more hectic, the ricochet goals would exist equally. The style of goals would flourish, and create a plethora of highlights with slap-shot style goals. Suddenly, Fulton Reed (The Mighty Ducks) power shooters have added value and the nose for the goal/trash men are less necessary. The game would be implementing a major style change, but that’s not an all around bad thing.

Of course with all change there will be a connection to controversy. Hockey purist will certainly have some hesitation to adding a two-point zone. The belief will be that the two-point shots will be ruining the game and the idea that a two point shot diminishes the glory of the goal. Just keep in mind purist out there, they said the same thing about the NBA three-point addition.

It’s been 26 years since Kevin Grevey knocked down the first trey of the NBA, and I don’t think the bonus shot has any lack of life in the future. (1) It’s time the NHL follows in basketball’s trail to the town of scoring changes, otherwise you can plan on even more at home spectators tuning out after quick first period leads.

Sources:

  1. http://americansportshistory.com/2014/02/13/the-history-of-the-three-point-line-in-the-nba/
  2. http://blues.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/icetracker?id=2015020892

References:

3) Hockey template (picture)

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BENJI-BARKS! 6-1-2015

Fred Hoiberg Leaving Ames Mayor-less – The end is nearing for Hoiberg’s tenure at Iowa State University. The man known as “The Mayor” in Ames is ready to upgrade and climb the coaching ladder to the NBA ranks. Hoiberg has led the Cyclones back to basketball prominence with the addition of two Big 12 Conference Tournament titles and the head of a hostile home crowd known as “Hilton Magic”. Should the move to the pros be surprising? No. Hoiberg is a primed NBA coach, he endorses a run-and-gun style of offense, he recruits junior college kids and welcomes project players that have developed smaller college resumes and should be able to transition into professional basketball well. My biggest question with Hoiberg’s departure from ISU is will there still be any magic in Hilton without their wizard on the sideline?

Josh Hamilton Hits Game Winning Double for Rangers – After the recent bad weather the Longhorn state endured, I’m sure when Prince Fielder was rounding the bases to give the Rangers the game-winning run on Sunday much of Texas was thinking they were possibly suffering an earthquake as well. But it was just the big guy rumbling home in the ballpark in Arlington to help seal the win for the Rangers and give Josh Hamilton’s story of redemption a new chapter. Hamilton’s storied battle with drugs took a turn towards relapse this offseason and led to a departure from the Angels back to his old team, the Rangers. But despite many critic’s beliefs that Hamilton had fallen from grace for the final time, Sunday’s walk-off was a sign that Hamilton is back-on-track, at least professionally. The story should be bigger news for the fact that with so much negativity in today’s sports world more light should be shed on brighter sides of things like Josh’s Sunday walk-off double. And if that means we get to watch Prince Fielder rumble around the bases like a bowl of jelly, I’m all for it.

Oscar Tavares and Family Honored in St. Louis and Given a Day to Remember By Carlos Martinez – The city of St. Louis has also suffered hard times this off season. After being bounced from the playoffs by the Giants in the 2014 NLCS, the city took on the race related riots of Ferguson, losing neighborhoods and businesses due to looters and chaotic protesters. The Cardinals organization also took a hit in the off season when outfielder Oscar Tavares, tragically lost his life in a drunk-driving accident that claimed his own life and the life of his girlfriend. The loss was met with sadness by many, especially Oscar’s friends, family and team mates. One team mate that was in particularly close to Taveras was pitcher Carlos Martinez. Martinez honored his fallen friend on Sunday. With Oscar’s family present at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, Martinez dizzied the Dodger’s hitters with seven shutout innings that led to a 3-1 St. Louis victory. All with the number 18 on his jersey, the number worn by Oscar last year in his only major-league season. Sometimes players change numbers with bizarre reasoning, maybe it’s to up that player’s jersey sales or give themselves a new look, or because that’s their new ‘lucky number’. Martinez did it to honor a lost team mate. After Sunday one thing’s for sure, it was nice to see the number 18 donning a sparkling performance as many believe Tavares would have done.

FIFA’s Sepp Blatter Retains Presidency, What it Means for 2022 World Cup – The Russian Egg Nest of scandals related to Sepp Blatter’s presidency at FIFA added another egg over the weekend with Blatter’s continued reign as President. The shames that are involved with this are countless, from the Qatar World Cup dream finding new life, to the fact that it seems inevitable that Blatter will remain President as long as the right people gain benefit from it. The Qatar World Cup is a bad idea for numerous reasons; bad location, inadequate facilities, small country/big event doesn’t mix well and heat conditions all play a factor in why Qatar is less than ideal for a World Cup hosting. Some solutions have been promoted in Qatar’s defense, like moving the event to the winter months to combat the heat dilemma. But that would be like cancelling a summer Christmas for football fans and add greater headaches to club football scheduling. Even if the World Cup in Qatar is rescheduled for the winter time due to extreme heat conditions, it wont change the estimated death toll of migrant workers to get Qatar ready for the games. It is estimated that by the time the Cup starts around 4,000 migrant workers will have World Cup preparation related deaths. Let me end my argument on why Blatter and the Qatar games must be stopped with this thought. According to Antiwar.com there haven’t even been 4,000 officially recorded deaths in the Iraq war since July of 2004. Blatter’s Qatar World Cup would be more damaging according to estimations to people than a United States war.

Stanley Cup Finals; Why Hockey Fans Should Root for the Blackhawks – I have many sports beliefs. While I get that many late-in-life snowbirds enjoy having professional hockey in places like Anaheim and San Jose and Tampa Bay and Dallas, I just can’t promote the idea of southern state teams winning trophies like the Stanley Cup. You ask me, it should be an unspoken rule if it doesn’t snow at least three months out of the year in a city than they shouldn’t be granted an NHL hockey team. Therefore, despite being a St. Louis Blue’s supporter, I find myself rooting for the Blackhawks to lift the Stanley Cup by default with the upcoming series. As much as it pains me to say it (through face-masking hands)…  GO BLACKHAWKS!