1) This in the news today. We read from the mirtle blog this afternoon that: "In addition to downsizing goaltending equipment and mandating more offensive-zone faceoffs, particularly on the power play, the NHL is emphasizing yet another obstruction-type crackdown this season" Additionally quoting the Mirtle blog: "Being targeted this season are using your hands to impede players and pinning players up against the boards. "There won't be grappling Ducks coach Randy Carlyle says. Obstruction, in other words.
2) OK, does anyone recall the first few months of the 2004-2005 season? Yes, it was power play after power play. Incredibly boring hockey. It was akin to a "half court game' for you basketball fans out there. There is almost NO FLOW in those kind of games. Sure scoring might increase marginally, but this kind of faux-increase in scoring does NOTHING to make the games appear better. Overall there won't be any increase in even strength scoring (like then) and as soon as the rules are relaxed, we'll be right back to where we were before.
3) It remains to be seen if the other aspect (reducing goalie equpt size) has any significant effect. That at least is a positive step in our opinion. We'd like to see the size reduced to where it was pre 1990, perhaps even 1980. For instance, does a goalie need a glove quadruple the size of his hand for 'protection'? All goalie equipment should be for protection, NOT stopping pucks. The technology is there to significantly reduce the size of pads without reducing the safety for the players involved.
4) Hopefully once the silly/inane 'crackdown' runs its course the NHL will institute real reforms to increase the excitement of games. One we have advocated is decreasing the punishment for fighting. It should be encouraged NOT discouraged. Fans love this aspect of the games, and even with less scoring, it enhances the intensity of games exponentially! We will stay on top of these issues, and have updates as the season progresses!