Mixed Martial Arts

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Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The new-look NHL

The new-look NHL

October 3, 2005

With snow drifting higher than rooftops, and with lakes and ponds frozen over for months on end, owning several hockey sticks by the age of five was not uncommon in many Canadian small towns.

Believe it or not, this love and understanding of hockey really blossomed with my collection of hockey cards. As I got older I would view several games per week in my local sports bar, but I could also make money wagering against oddsmakers who, at the time, didn’t spend too much of their day worrying about the latest NHL happenings.

My love of hockey and my absolute joy of beating the lines are deeper than ever, even with last year’s nightmare. Now, it’s time to bone-up on the new “Americanized” rules, get that jump on the oddsmakers. While the attention- grabbing rule change has been the elimination of the two-line pass in the neutral zone, (the redline will still appear), there have been several that must be noted, and one that will either make or break all of the rule changes.

Their will be an additional four-feet in each offensive zone. The neutral zone will now be 50-feet wide instead of 54. And, goal lines will be two-feet closer to the end boards. The reason for the adjustments is to create offense, especially on power plays. Are you listening American TV audience?

The “tag-up rule” is making a return to the ice. This allows offensive players who preceded the puck to the blue line, return to it and tag it, so to speak. The league is hoping this rule will cut down on the number of offside calls, allowing a better offensive flow to the game.
Goaltenders’ equipment will be reduced. That includes smaller leg pads, blocker (blocking glove), and upper-body pads. And, goalies will also be wearing tighter sweaters and a reduced pant-size. There will be new instigator rules and penalties that will continue to reduce the “goon-factor”. Again, it’s a new rule made for American TV, and to keep the flow intact.
There will be a shootout at the end of any scoreless, five-minute overtime. So, there will be no more NHL ties. But none of this will be a major factor in speeding up the game and creating an offensive flow to quench the American palate, unless the officials clamp down on interference, hooking, and holding and obstruction. There is supposed to be a “zero-tolerance” approach to these offensive killers.

The Avs, Senators, Canucks, Flyers, and Lightning, should benefit the most from the new rules geared to offensive flow. While nothing less than another lockout-season could help the Capitals and Sabres!

I hope that helps clear the ice as far as the new rules are concerned. The NHL wants to head in a new direction to help bring new faces to the arenas. I expect a lukewarm response by my American sports brethren. However, two things are for sure. Once you’ve seen your first NHL game in person, you’ll be won over for life. And, after we get about six games under each team’s belt, nothing will be easier to beat than the NHL lines.


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