Ways to improve the college hockey game.

Posted by goon in CHL & NCAA,Columns,Goon's World on September 19, 2009 — 19 Comments

This week I will discuss ways to improve the College Hockey game. There are a few of the suggestion that I would enact if I was in charge. I believe some of these tweaks would improve the college game quite a bit.  

1.)    First thing out of the gate, I would get rid of the mask or bird cage. In my opinion I believe the full cage is a reason there is so much stick work in NCAA Division one hockey.  A couple times getting hit in the face might be what some of these kids need to clean up the game. There is way too much stick work in college hockey and I think the mask is the major reason for this. The players have no respect for their opponents and they feel invincible because of the mask.

2.)    Put the ‘Red Stop Sign’ on the back of all jerseys in Division one hockey, still way too many checking from behind penalties in college hockey. If a player sees the ‘Red Stop Sign’ don’t check the player in front of you.

3.)    Get rid of the progressive game disqualification for fighting in college hockey. I think college hockey should be like junior hockey. Fighting is part of the game of hockey and if a player gets into a fight, both players should be out for the rest of that game. There is no need for additional punishment. I think the progressive DQ is too punitive, and is a cause of a lot of extra unnecessary after the whistle bravo sierra. Currently; college hockey players know that they don’t have to fight when they commit an egregious act or take a run at a team’s star players. From years past we know the refs don’t always catch these egregious acts as they occure  on the ice, a lot of times they don’t make the right call either. Because of the progressive DQ rule you get ugly incidents like the one that happened in Mankato last season. Players know that they can hide behind the officials and never pay for their miss deeds.  In the NHL and junior hockey the players police the game themselves and it helps keep the players honest. Prediction: when the Gophers play the Mavericks this season Brian Schack and Channing Boe will meet on the ice this season and settle their score.  

4.)    All ties must be broken like the NHL. Over time should be a five minute period of four on four hockey and then a shoot out if there is still no winner. Award point points like the NHL 2 for a win and 1 point for an overtime loss and or for a shoot out loss.

5.)  Call the game like they do in the NHL, obstruction in college hockey is still very much a part of the game no matter how many refs are on the ice. If the hand comes off of the stick to hold up a player it’s a penalty, hooking is a penalty and not to be misconstrued as good defense. Skill and Speed should be rewarded. It doesn’t take any skill to skate up and down the ice hacking and hooking their opponent. Over looking penalties by the refs is unacceptable.

6.) All arenas in college hockey should be required to have over head cameras and goal reviews so the right call can be made on all controversial goals. There also needs to be more than one angle to review these controversial goals, much like the NHL. The NCAA should require each conference to have a war room like the one in Toronto.

7.) I also like to see all of hockey go to a more durable stick, these carbon fiber hockey sticks suck. Sure they are awesome for shooting but I am sick and tired of seeing them break all of the time.

Let the Discussion begin. Check out more from Eric of mvn.com, on  my twitter,  and the Goon’s World Blog.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    I love the idea of getting rid of the masks. The NCAA is becoming (is now?) a major feeder for the pro game, and I think its time they went to the half visor. It will cut down on the stick work and make everyone accountable.

  • Jon

    One of the reasons why college hockey is so great is because of its differences from junior hockey and the nhl. Suggesting that college hockey is going to become better by making it closer to the junior game is ridiculous.

  • http://uaafan.blogspot.com Donald Dunlop

    Wrong and ignorant on every count.

    1. As an amateur league the NCAA is responsible for injuries and should protect the players in every way possible. NCAA players in the NHL pretty much all have their teeth. Applying standards used by professional teams is just dumb.

    2. Hitting from behind is no more common in the NCAA than it is in any other league, including the NHL. You start with a flawed assumption and then incorporate a ridiculous idea to correct it.

    3. See #1. Why they let you on this otherwise fine blog is a mystery. The last thing the NCAA needs to do is start giving scholarships to thugs and goons and that is exactly what would happen.

    4. You’re answer is proof you’re a completely unsophisticated fan. Again … it’s an amateur sport. I know you folks in Fargo-land think you have a mini-NHL franchise but you don’t. A tie means that two teams were equal on that night. Shootouts are to satisfy the ignorant mob and they’re fine in an 82 game NHL season. 34 games is too few to be giving extra points because one team has players that are good at one aspect of the game.

    5. Flawed assumption again. Two years ago the NCAA began stricter enforcement and last year was the first year with two referees. And already you’re whining? Clutching and grabbing was never that bad in the NCAA and what remains is certainly not noteworthy.

    6. It’s an amateur sport with 58 teams of varying financial capabilities. How is every team going to pay for this unfunded mandate? I knew you liked unfunded mandates … closet liberal.

    7. Players can use ANY stick they want. All sticks break. Did you watch any hockey in the 20th century? I didn’t think so.

  • F2B&G

    Agree on #1, but good luck getting the NC$$ liability police to go for it.

    Not sure I agree with #3. I think fighting is a necessary part of the game for the pros, but I fear that the kind of unnecessary brawls like we recently saw between Minnesota & North Dakota would become too commonplace in heated rivalry matchups.

    I completely disagree with #4. I don’t care for shootouts as I believe that hockey is a team game. I would support making OT 4×4 for 10 mins, but then you’d probably run into concerns from ECAC & Hockey East spectators about occasional weeknight OT games taking too long.

    I agree with #5. #6 would be good, but going beyond the standard overhead cam setup may also prove to be expensive.

    #7, I can’t really comment on.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    Wow, Donald you prove again why no one reads your blog! Seriously, you can’t do anything without attacking someone, none the less, you’re still true to forum. Oooohhhhh, I am impressed with your wit once again. Not! Just because you scream louder doesn’t make you right. I haven’t asked for your opinion, so basically you’re dismissed! why don’t you go back and tell us how UAA Seawolves are going to finish in the top five of the WCHA with that overgrown group of slow nobodys.

  • http://uaafan.blogspot.com Donald Dunlop

    By default, making a post on a blog with a comments section essentially means that you did ask for my opinion. I don’t visit or comment at Goon’s World since long ago when I told you I wouldn’t. But here you are on a blog with NHL readers (that might otherwise be edified about the NCCA) spewing ridiculous tripe.

    You put your list up there. I calmly (really? you think I was screaming?) refuted them one by one. Yes … I did mix in adjectives to clearly paint the picture of your ineptitude with regard to even the most basic understanding of the NCAA game.

    Deal with it.

    You apparently believe this has something to do with UAA and UND? LOL.

    “you’re blog” ?¿? …. “none the less” ?¿? …. “true to forum” ?¿? … “over grown” ?¿?

    next time try … “your blog” … “nonetheless” … “true to form” …. “overgrown”

  • Skippy

    Where to begin….
    1. Saying that the players ‘disrespect each other’ is a broad sweeping statement and lumps them all into one category. So, on its face, it is of no value. Regarding the facemask opinion: The NCAA should continue to protect the players as best as possible with masks and use progressive game disqualifications (as opposed to penalties which create man-advantages) to motivate players and coaches to curtail stick-related violence.

    2. I do not think placing a different color patch and a particular word on the back of jerseys will create the desired outcome. Again, use progressive game disqualifications to motivate players and coaches.

    3. Fighting does not need to be part of hockey nor any sport. Fighting is part of hockey because the repercussions for fighting make it worthwhile. Removing the progressive game disqualification will increase fighting and do more to encourage teams to place enforcers in their lineups. Because enforcers are not noted for their speed and skill, the game will suffer a bit for each enforcer that is in a lineup. Patently bad idea. Stick with the NHL if you care for that version of the sport.

    4. Giving out 2 points in some games (non-overtime) and 3 points in others (overtime games) is intellectually flawed and leads to artificially tight races for playoff spots by rewarding the losing team with a point. If the game must include the spectacle of a shootout to increase attendance; give out 2 points to the winner so that it really means something. No need to always copy the NHL game (it might very well be a better game if it borrowed ideas from the college game.) …Consider a second 5 minute overtime prior to the spectacle if ties are known to reduce attendance.

    5. Skill and speed should indeed be rewarded. Referees should enforce the rules and eliminate as much fighting as possible to do just that.

    7. Are you getting paid per word? :) …Let the players continue to chose their own sticks. The players are capable of deciding which stick to use.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    Charlie said; “Removing the progressive game disqualification will increase fighting and do more to encourage teams to place enforcers in their lineups. Because enforcers are not noted for their speed and skill, the game will suffer a bit for each enforcer that is in a lineup.”

    That premise on its face is false; if the refs called the game like the NHL does they won’t have much room on their rosters for goon/enforcer only type players. The emphasis is on more skill and offense. Also cracking down on the after the whistle B.S. would help as well.

    The argument for getting rid of the progressive DQ will not give people a green light per see it will just keep people more honest. You’re still getting thrown out of the game for the rest of the game.

    A lot of players in the NHL will tell you if you take fighting out of the game the game would get a lot dirtier. Half of the crap that goes on in college hockey wouldn’t happen if the threat of getting their nose busted was more of a reality. For example; if I come in and crash the goal and run over the goalie or leg check an opposition player I deserve a beat down. The fact that stuff goes on answered actually causes more unnecessary acts of violence.

  • Skippy

    To suggest that ‘on ice/field vigilantism’ is inherently superior for policing a sport than is cinching up the penalties for violent behavior and having them consistantly enforced is heading in the wrong direction for any game. Heck Mr. Goon, why have officials at all?

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    You must not watch the NHL much? There isn’t a bunch of blood thirsty vigilantism taking place on the ice.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com rusty

    Whoa, lots of tension here!

    Just a couple of comments on the comments:

    Having watched several other levels of hockey, and a ton of NHL games, I can guarantee you there is way more clutching and grabbing in the college game. Its not even close. Take a guy like Matt Greene for example, good shut down defender in college and had a very difficult time adjusting to the NHL rules. Check out his penalties in this first year with the Oilers. Obstruction, obstruction, obstruction.

    The overhead cameras are not that expensive. Every USHL team was required to install them, and all were able to comply. There is no reason the NCAA cannot do it.

    Lastly, we are very pleased to have Goon on board. His insights into the college game are very valuable, and thought provoking. The college game itself has been static for some time now, and these ideas are all fresh, doable and likely to improve the product.

  • Skippy

    ‘Fresh’? maybe, ‘doable’? sure; but ‘improve the product’? Do you honestly feel that by encouraging the players to mete out the punishment more (by doing away with the DQs as they are today) is going to improve the ‘product’ more than providing officials with the means (harsh repercussions) for violent penalties?

    P.S. David Stern & Gary Bettman would be proud of your use of the word ‘product’! :)

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com rusty

    Skippy, I really do believe it. Having watched my share of WCHA games (the only one I am comfortable commenting on) over the last 5 years, I feel that the game is stale. The games are dull and predictable, often resembling an NHL game from 1999. The added incentive of seeing a fight (you have to admit that most, over 50%, of the fans like it) will help, as will adopting NHL style obstruction rules. Letting the skilled players free-wheel and the 4th line walk-ons duke it out is good for the game, the team, the school and the fans.

    Product is my buzz-word du jour. Yesterday it was rubbydub.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    Rusty the problem is there is a segment of fans that don’t understand the role fighting has in hockey. There isn’t this blood thirsty vigilantism in the NHL, you knee someone you’re going to drop the gloves. Run the goalie expect to get hit.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com rusty

    Fair enough Goon. I understand that there are several little pukes in college hockey (Geoff Paukovich) that never have to pay the piper for their dirty play. Is this correct?

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    Well unless you count the practice where Green pounded on Pauko up in Edmonton. Paukovich is one of the most despised players to ever come to Grand Forks.

  • Skippy

    You are correct Oh Great Gooney One! There is indeed a ‘segment’ of fans that don’t understand the role of fighting in hockey.

    The ‘segment’ numbers in the hundreds of thousands. The ‘segment’ is prevalent not only at high school and college games in North America, but throughout Northern and Eastern Europe where the game is played in a manner that allows speed and skill to truly flourish.

    Rusty, I don’t know what you mean by the outcome of a college game is predictable. I would give up blogging and head to Vegas!

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    skippy er I mean Charlie Rusty is all knowing. :)

  • hockeynut

    I would love to see the full masks be taken away.I am old school and played in the 70′s when masks were required.Sure I have a few scars because of not wearing one but hey chicks dug stitches when I had them.My senior year in 79′ masks were mandatory and that year coincidently the sticks came up and little punks all of a sudden thought they were tough.If anything the college game should go with half shields.