There are somethings I can live with out in the NHL. The trapezoid behind the net (hey, let the goaltenders be great assistmen), the instigator penalty (I just think there has to be a better way rather than fining coaches) and official inconsistencies (but that is an arguement for another day). But lately, the league has been doing some good.
First of all, the Stanley Cup Playoffs could have been held off until June 5, but the decision to start it over the weekend with back to back games on the weekend was nothing short of near brilliance. While it may have been hard on the players and the teams, the short turn around built momentum for the casual fan.
They also made the times consistent through out the Finals series at 8 pm. The start time helps our friends on the west coast to at least can wait another hour at work before they take off early to catch the game. It is nice to see the "east coast bias" folks have to stay up a bit later for the good of the entire country (both U.S. and Canada) to enjoy round two between these teams.
Second, the league was quick to react to the allegations made in Florida against the Capitals. In fact some NHL suits were in town yesterday (according to Tarik) to investigate the matter. They asked questions of the Capitals' staff, coaches and trainers. Better to be proactive in a situation like this than reactive, a position Major League Baseball seems to be stuck in.
There is still alot of trouble woes for the league however. KHL, Players Union (year-round drug testing), Olympics, Phoenix all are still problems that need attention. As long as the NHL keeps their fans in mind when making such decisions, then it can't be that bad. Can it?
- The Red Wings take a two game lead in the series. So much for young legs in back to back games. History repeating? Penguins starting to lose focus and looked like they whined everytime things didn't go their way. The Malkin/Zetterberg fight was worth the price of admission though.
- Speaking of the fight, Evgeni Malkin should be suspended... but oh... wait... superstars are immune to such suspensions! Oh what Donald Brashear must be thinking right now.
- Joe Nieuwendyk will be the new GM in Dallas. I think they would better benefit him on the ice the way things are going there. First order of business? Get thee a goaltender, get thee a goaltender! So ends the co-GM duties of Brent Hull and Les Jackson.