Will the new rule changes help?
I'm a natural skeptic, so when it comes to the NHL supposed crackdown on obstruction and supposed offensive generating rule changes, I'm not so certain that everything will turn out as many expect.
There's no doubt that the obstruction will be called - at least in the first 5-6 weeks of the schedule. After that, I'm not so sure it won't be back to the status quo. Besides, who really wants to see 25 powerplays per game anyways? I'm not convinced that a parade to the penalty box will be better for the game overall.
As for the new rules, such as eliminating the red line, I guess the verdict will come later. But did anyone watch any of the action over in Europe last year? Sometimes it was worse than the crap in the NHL. The current trend amongst NHL coaches - for various reasons that I won't get into now - is to defend, defend, defend. The bottom line is winning and that's the only way many teams can compete. I'm of the opinion that this trend will continue and the elimination of the red line will only drive the "trap line" further back. For those expecting spectacular end to end rushes may be disapointed.
But, for the record, I hope I'm wrong, but I'll have to see it to believe it.