NHL fans craving more offence
Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis (22) tries to get a shot off against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) and defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) during the first overtime in game five of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center, May 28, 2014; Chicago, IL. (Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
The 5.3 goals scored per game during the regular season caused me to worry we could be on the brink of the second coming of the dead puck era.
Who knew the usual defence-wins-championships-tinged post-season would instead satiate our hunger for goals. At last count we were at 5.6 goals a game and climbing.
@CNL77: When was the last time team success wasn't driven by great goaltending in the NHL playoffs?
Playoffs have always been the preferred delivery system when it came to selling the NHL.
At one point during the regular season, a play in which a well-flipped zone clearance that stopped just a few feet before icing could be called — allowing the team under pressure to get some fresh players on the ice — was in the running for that night’s TSN Turning Point.
@aaronrcraven: Bad goaltending makes for wildly entertaining hockey.
Strikeouts don't sell baseball, rebounds don't sell basketball, sacks don't sell football — so let's be honest, goaltending doesn't sell hockey.
North America's big four sports fans are far too addicted to offence. The purists don't really need goals, but they also don't need to be re-sold that style of play every year either.
Home runs, dunks and touchdown passes do the selling in the other big league sports. They've even altered their rulebooks over the past decade to make sure that offence remains front and centre.
Hockey is best served when it can feed its audience a steady diet of goals — preferably playoff ones.
It's probably just a twisted trend that will sort itself out by the 20-game mark next season.
At that point the goaltenders will once again rule the day and the coaches who preach defence first will brag post-game about how their side limited the other side’s chances.
Which, of course, limits most of our excitement for what was once and could be again an offensive treat.