Hockey needs a bit of creativity
Alright, I’m just going to come out and say it — watching hockey on television is getting to be a bit monotonous.
Think about it. Watch any game featuring any team in the National Hockey League and you’ll find the same system.
It looks a little like this — get the puck to the blue-line of the opposition, dump the puck in and go get it.
Once the forecheck occurs and the forwards retrieve the puck, a little imagination takes place, but nothing that regularly blows your mind.
There are neat passes, some of them will make you want to take a second look, but for the most part they are run of the mill.
Ask the players and the game plan will surely involve getting pucks to the net. That response elicits a ‘ duh’ from this corner. How else is the puck doing to go in if it isn’t hurled towards the goal?
Quite frankly, and you might revoke my Canadian citizenship for saying this, but hockey is getting a bit boring.
I’d pay just about anything to see a regular end-to-end rush in today’s game or at least a ‘system’ that doesn’t involve doing the exact same thing as your opponent.
Coaches get creative. Allow your players the option to make something happen rather than stick to a tired script.
That’s probably why this scribe will undoubtedly choose a televised basketball game over a televised hockey match.
Basketball offers that athletic creativity that I crave. It is that simple. The game is not restrained by coaches that want to micromanage their players in any way.
Do they run plays? Of course they do. But there is just something different about the game. Players can freestyle when a particular play breaks down.
Then, there is the fast break. It is a thing of beauty when run correctly, especially when the ball fails to touch the floor but reaches the hands of four players en route to a slam dunk at the other end.
That’s just my preference. I’d like to see a couple of coaches take more of a chance when it comes to hockey.
Dare to break from the mold of the boring dump and chase. Dare to encourage players to not relinquish control of the puck at the blue-line.
A few years ago the emphasis was placed on increasing the overall scoring output in the game. The rules were changed to discourage the clutching and grabbing that had become commonplace at the professional level.
Maybe, there needs to be another shift of focus.
Hockey is a game that can be exciting when it wants to be. When the Pavel Datsyuks, Patrick Kanes and Sidney Crosbys of the world are freewheeling their way through the neutral zone on the way to the goal, hockey is at its pinnacle.
It is in those moments the game can do no wrong. It is those moments I’d like to see more of.