Happy F**KING NEW YEAR
by Deb Beckers
I decided that for my new year’s resolution I would try and treat you buggers to a kinder, gentler Deb; at peace with myself and happy and respectful of my fellow human beings.
Then, last Friday, I open my Yahoo home page and see this headline…
BETTMAN TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE NEW YEAR
How’d you like that!?!? Not even January yet and my resolution is already shot all to hell.
Bettman’s changes (that he’s told us about)
Realigning the conferences
The changes could go into effect next season if the governors and GMs agree at next month’s meeting.
Here’s the skinny…
* They will go from six conferences to four. Two in the East and Two in the West (see breakdown below)
* There will be one 8 team league and one 7 team league in each division.
* The top two teams in each division would be guaranteed the top four playoff seeds within the conference; four wild card playoff berths going to the teams with the next-highest point totals. (FINALLY – this is WAY more fair)
WEST 8: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Colorado and Phoenix.
WEST 7: Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Dallas, Minnesota and Atlanta.
EAST 8: New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina.
EAST 7: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo, Boston, Pittsburgh and Columbus.
I actually agree with this change. It’s been a long time coming and it will be a good thing for the league.
I still say that the people putting this together need to invest in an atlas – I can DRIVE to Detroit in about 3 hours… I suppose it’s nice to know that the West is so close… It’s supposedly set up along time zones. Uh Huh.
My Theory, however, is that he’s done this to soften us up for what’s to come in the future…
Things the sneaky bugger is working on…
1. The elimination of Goal Judges.
Surprise! They are testing this out in Dallas as we speak (which makes no sense to me, shouldn’t it be done somewhere where goals are actually scored?). The only real problem I have with this is that if there is no one eyeballing the goals we are going to be having to “go to the tape” a hell of a lot more, slowing down the pace. The most important part of this is the fact that the teams will be able to squeeze in 6-8 more overpriced platinum seats. It’s all about the money, shocking really.
2. BIGGER fekking NETS.
Scoring is slightly down this season (heh), so what do the morons on the “change” committee do? Suggest bigger nets. Hey if there are bigger nets, there will be more goals! That will make the game more exciting to the portion of the Hockey watching public who like their games spoon-fed to them.
I hope that they’re just throwing this out there to distract us from the realignment and goal judges’ thing, but seriously there are other options that REALLY need to be considered first…
a) Reducing the size of the goalie’s equipment; not enough to cause injury, but really losing a few inches on the pads won’t kill a guy (seriously it won’t – it’s the motion of the goalie, not the pads!). Hell you could even take away the stick, or better yet give him the same one that the players use. That’d be interesting to me to watch.
b) Change the size of the rink surface. Go Olympic. More ice surface, faster game, more chances to score.
The league needs to get it through their thick heads that it’s not the number of goals that makes the game interesting; it’s the chances to score. Hell – look at the size of the net in football (soccer), they sure as hell don’t score more because of the size of the nets.
Deb is currently looking for a new resolutions, she thinks they will probably involve chocolate and a gun (or possibly not overusing the word “HELL” in future columns). Drink responsibly!