Today is a good day because you are alive. Anything could happen today! Potential is a wonderful gift. It is a better gift than past regrets, which, well, you know what? No. We're not reflecting on yesterday right now. If hockey were like other jobs, now would be a wonderful time for a week off, a team-building retreat full of joking, laughter, and no pressure at all. But hockey is not like other jobs. In many ways (not money), it can be much worse.
The NHL has moved alarmingly fast on a rule change as a result of the winter GM meetings. Games that go to overtime will no longer have to wait for the dry scrape from the Zambonis before resuming play, which often took five or even upwards of six minutes to complete.
It sounds like the loss of momentum was a key factor, which is basically code for, "casual fans were leaving the arena when the third period ended and they saw the big Snoopymobiles coming out on the ice." Via Puck Daddy:
So at their annual November meeting Tuesday, the NHL’s general managers decided to park the Zambonis. Crews will now shovel the ice between regulation and overtime the same way they do during TV timeouts.
NHL executive Colin Campbell said there would not be a dry scrape before shootouts, the way there was in the past. Zambonis made only four passes in the middle of the ice then, and players still handled the puck wider than that lane without complaint.
"I guess it just took a little too long," said Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "It took the excitement out of the end of the game. I think that’s what these meetings are for. We see something that wasn’t working the way we thought and correct it rather than just let it linger." [Puck Daddy]
So the net result of this change (effective this coming Saturday) will be a quicker start to overtime following the end of the third period and shootouts following the end of overtime, but the ice will be worse in both segments.
The Stars should be particularly thankful for this new development, as the fresher-than-usual ice has been no help to them so far this year. They are 1-4 in games that go past 60 minutes, their only victory being a shootout win against New Jersey. The other games were all overtime losses.
The other notable change that came out of the meeting was that Toronto's video review center (or centre) can now have play blown dead if they deem that a goal review is required. This is bad news for those of us who loved theorizing about what could potentially happen outside of time itself if another goal, penalty, etc. occurred during play immediately following a missed goal call. I mean, who wouldn't have loved to see Philadelphia score a goal in game 6 after Kane's initial goal was missed by the on-ice officials?
* * * * *
Wednesday Links are sans fanfare today. All business, folks.
A game happened yesterday. [Stars]
These people talked about it. That's it. [DMN]
You probably already saw these notes yesterday from Brandon, but here's a quick reminder: Garbutt: Upper body, skating. Eaves: Also skating, could be in Thursday as his foot is mostly okay now. Nichushkin: had surgery Tuesday, still scheduled for return in four months. [DMN]
The Stars are ranked in the top 16 teams here, so that's something. [The Score]
Jim Nill is glad the Kevin Connauton will be playing games again. [DMN]
Seymon Varlamov is back on the shelf with an injured groin, so that's leading some outlets to speculate about whether Brodeur would play for Roy, his old rival. It won't happen, but please can it happen anyway? [The Hockey News]
Columbus assigned someone to a minor league team in order to make room for Connauton, who will wear number 4. I'm sure Kevin is already feeling the love. Good luck to ya, bud. [Fox Sports]
Max Pacioretty, a pretty good player. Check that: an elite goal scorer. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
Kevin McGran talks about what Phil Kessel's relationship with the media is like. He mentions sandwiches in the auto-playing video, so give it a look. [Toronto Star]
Arizona State University, home of the Sun Devils, will be getting an NCAA Div 1 hockey team, which is cool. Has everyone already made the jokes about the Coyotes stealing their players yet? I don't feel like making them. [The Hockey News]
Arturs Irbe suited up for Buffalo, but unfortunately did not see game action. Yes, that Arturs Irbe. [SB Nation]
Gordie Howe was hockey, and in many ways, always will be. Keith Olbermann gives him a fitting tribute: