Every time I start thinking perhaps I’m wrong and the NHL really is fine the way it is right now, I have the misfortune of seeing an absolutely dreadful game like the Bruins/Maple Leafs match from Saturday (watch highlights). Then I apologize to myself for ever doubting myself in the first place.
I’d say about 80-85 percent of the Boston/Toronto game was played along the boards between the bluelines. Other than the three goals that were scored, there might have been five or six exciting scoring chances at most. The rest of the contest was all about chipping the puck in, blocking shots, or fighting to free the puck from six-man scrums.
Even Leafs coach Paul Maurice called the game “a dog”, and when any NHL coach chimes in on the boringness of a game, you know it had to be unspeakably awful. But the most telling quote came from Bruins goalie Alex Auld after the game, when the newly acquired netminder spoke of the pleasure he got playing under coach Claude Julien’s trap system.
"One of the first things Claude Julien told me when I joined the team (was) that (the Bruins employed) a system that was conducive to goaltenders," Auld told the Canadian Press. “That’s nice.”
That’s nice for goalies, I’m sure. Pretty nice for coaches, too. But nice for fans? Not even close.
And that, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with the NHL; on one level, they must truly believe their employees are their customers, and their customers are their employees.
So, one more time with feeling: Sorry, myself. It’ll be a long time before I question you/me again.
• On the other side of the coin: What was going on in the Colorado/St. Louis game (watch highlights) Sunday night?
Fourteen goals scored in a single game? Did Andy Murray, Joel Quenneville, and their respective coaching staffs get kidnapped on the way to the arena or something?
And has the NHL’s coaching fraternity been notified about such an egregious abuse of offense? This level of excitement cannot continue to be tolerated!