Thursday, January 25, 2007

All Star Snooze!

1) Ambien was not needed for anyone with an insomnia issue if they were 'lucky' enough to tune into last night's NHL All-Star game. As in previous years, there was little that resembled NHL hockey. Instead offense was the only talent that was allowed to be displayed with regularity. Little to no hitting, defense was spotty at best, and goalies also didn't appear to be too interested in playing to their abilities.
2) What was left was as boring as hockey can get. Which led us at FAUXRUMORS to thinking; Why is Gary Bettman and the NHL powers that be so fascinated in increasing scoring? Last night there were 21 goals scored and it couldn't have been more boring/uninteresting. If ever there was a case to illustrate the absurdity of the claim that scoring makes games exciting, that was it.
3) So that leads us to the inevitable question: Just what does make a game exciting/interesting? We believe the answer is emotion. That's what gets hockey fans going; Emotion displayed on the ice. That's what was lacking with the exhibition last night, and for the most part has been lacking in most regular season NHL tilts in Bettman's New NHL. Emotion that derives/manifests from hard hits and the occasional scrap.
4) Is there a mere coincidence that as fighting majors have fallen so has the TV audience/arena attendance? Even some of Bettman's fiercest backers have begun to see what we here at FAUXRUMORS have been bemoaning for the past 2 years. Bring back the emotion! We want hitting/fighting!
5) Examples range from the NBC broadcast where all 3 announcers, who usually would shill the NHL line, stated that the instigator rule has allowed players to no longer fear for committing a cheap shot. Gary Bettman butt-boy Stan Fischler in his latest column actually stated that a league official told him "that the league is quietly responding to critics claim that The Game has gotten too soft." If Stan writes it, you can be sure the NHL is aware of the issue. Stan doesn't defecate without league approval.
6) Yet another sign of the times is the minor leagues are losing attendance since they tried to institute NHL rules changes. Except for the AHL who is directly tied with the NHL, the other minor leagues will probably ignore other NHL rules changes and return to what sells. If minor leagues understand this, why has it taken so long for the NHL to see this as well?
7) We are NOT advocating a return to the 1970's and bench clearing brawls, but we want there to no longer be a hindrance to players who scrap on occasion. Not only is it hugely exciting and entertaining, but we believe it helps keep the dirty stick work, and cheap hits to a minimum. We don't need more scoring to better the game. We need a return to what made it great in the first place. Can you hear us now Gary?

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