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Hockey... Who Misses The 1980's?  
User currently offlineDTW_Steve From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 93 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 1224 times:

Let me start this by saying that, as a 24 year old, I didn't start watching hockey until 1986. So when talking about the bygone days of hockey, I have no witness to eras such as the 50's or 60's. Thus I can only look back and say "Ahhhh, when I was a kid..." to hockey of the 80's.

That said, are there more hockey fans on this forum who long for the freewheeling days of the NHL in the 80's? One day, three or four years ago, I woke up and realized that NHL hockey had become kinda boring. I realized that I just didn't get that excited feeling I used to when I was lucky enough to catch an Oilers game on CBC late at night. Whatever happened to 7-6 games all the time? Or knowing that when you saw Steve Yzerman, Wayne Gretzky, or Mario Lemeiux circling around helmetless on the ice in pregame, hockey mullet freeflowing, that they would be involved in some gorgeous plays, almost every night? Do you miss the 200-point season? The 400 penalty minute year? I sure do.

Sure, I love hockey even for what it is today. But lately I've been nostalgic for some freewheeling, fight-filled hockey. The kind of nights when I would be nervous and excited, knowing that the Oilers were probably going to thrash the Wings, but at least it would be an exciting game. Now if I know that the Devils are going to play the Wings, and the Devils win, it's just another triumph for overpowering D and stuffy hockey. Anyone else with me on this, longing for the more exciting hockey of a bygone time?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 1220 times:

I agree. I got into Hockey around 87 or so. I have a hard time watching Hockey now. The same goes for the NBA as well.

User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5538 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 1219 times:

Eh, I miss the early '90s. When Lemieux and the Pens actually won the Cup twice in a row. But yes, I do agree that it seems like hockey has gotten somewhat boring as of late. I remember back to a few years ago when people derided the Minnesota Wild on account of how boring their games could be due to their Neutral Zone Trap method of defense. Now we see more teams do that. If I'm not mistaken, the Penguins just installed a variant of the Neutral Zone Trap under Eddie O. At times it just looks as if teams are playing to not lose a game, as opposed to playing to win the game.

South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineLearpilot From United States of America, joined May 2001, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 1218 times:

Now if I know that the Devils are going to play the Wings, and the Devils win, it's just another triumph for overpowering D and stuffy hockey.

We did an overnight trip in Teterboro, NJ a couple of weeks ago and the boss was nice enough to buy me and my co-pilot tickets to the Devils / Maple Leafs game. After watching that game, it's no wonder why no one watches hockey any more. Something's got to be done about - hold on, we're talking hockey here, aboot  Smile a lot of things. The neutral zone trap needs to go, the clutching and grabbing needs to go, one of the refs needs to get off the ice. No one wants to watch a 1-1 thriller  Yawn in the Meadowlands. I know I didn't. It was hard explaining to my co-pilot why I'm such a big hockey fan during this snoozefest.  Sleepy

I didn't start watching hockey until 1993, and it was a heck of a lot better game then than it is today.

DTW Steve, do you ever visit http://www.letsgowings.com? Good stuff about the Wings on there.

Heed our warnings or your future will be underpant free!
User currently offlineKROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 1216 times:

It was hard explaining to my co-pilot why I'm such a big hockey fan during this snoozefest.

And that is exactly the reason Hockey has been dubbed 'Soccer on Ice'.

User currently offlineQb001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 1211 times:

Hockey IS boring. I don't even bother to watch the pro games anymore. But I'll watch junior hockey or the women. They play the real game.

We need Olympic size rinks. That would bring the speed back in the game. Who watched the 2002 Olympic tournament and didn't like it?

Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (12 years 21 hours ago) and read 1207 times:

I grew up in the 70's and 80's watching the LA Kings at the Fabulous Forum. The rivalries that they had within the old Norris Division with the Oilers, Jets, Flames, and Canucks were awesome. Seeing the line oif Gretzky, Kurri, and Anderson skate up the ice was enough to send chills up my spine because they were so good, and I wanted so bad for the underdog Kings to win. And maybe half the time they did.

I moved to MSY in 1987 (the year before the Kings got Gretz), did catch a few games thereafter, and it was still pretty cool. Been to one game at Staples, and frankly, it doesn't compare to the coziness of the Forum.

I've also caught about 5 Stars games while at conferences or airliner shows in Dallas. While it's still fun to go, hockey nowadays doesn't compare to hockey 15 and 20 years ago. Too much clutching and grabbing, not enough free skating, etc.

Tom at MSY

"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (12 years 21 hours ago) and read 1202 times:

I still love hockey and the NHL game, I can't imagine my life without my daily NHL fix. That being said, I really got into the NHL game when I was 10, in 1992-1993 season. Although that was the season where Mogilny and Selanne both scored 76 goals as rookies, and these days 76 goals would be unheard of...let alone 55. So I don't really have anything to compare the present to other than old ESPN Classic clips and articles. In fact, I find it very hard to watch old NHL games because of the wide-open "pond hockey" style. Its so predictable. Although I find offense exciting, I find the defensive strategies very interesting. The players today are more talented than ever and the physical game is paramount in today's NHL to stop these players from scoring. However, I do miss this from the 80's...one of the greatest dynasties in the history of professional sports:

Qb001, I really dislike the QMJHL because there is so little focus on defense. All the 'Q' seems to be is scoring and fighting. That being said, I'm not shocked that theyve pumped out quality NHL goaltenders because you've gotta be good to stop the puck from going into the back of the net in the defense-free league.

America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineYooYoo From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 6057 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (12 years 19 hours ago) and read 1191 times:

Yes I do miss the hockey of the 80's.

With that in mind here are some rule changes that might bring back some excitement to the game. Comments welcome, please.

1. Get rid of that damn red line
2. Get rid of that instigator penalty.
3. Icing, if it crosses the goal line, blow the whistle. Why is there a need to touch the puck?
4. Bring back the "tag-up" rule for off-side
5.One Ref please

The skill and speed that the current day player possesses is muted by the trap and the dump and chase strategy of the current day coach.

It's easy to criticize, but the bigwigs of this great game need to have a long chat before they loose any more fans.

Oh, the much talked about(possible) strike of NHL players next year will surely bring back the fans.  Acting devilish

Side note: What ever happened to the "Kid Lines" ?


I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
User currently offlineKYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (12 years 19 hours ago) and read 1187 times:

I remember watching hockey with my dad since I can remember. I miss the days when numerous fights would break out during a game. I remember seeing Bob Probert fight alot, too. (Go Wings!) Too bad I wasn't around for the days of bench-emptying brawls... Sad

"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (12 years 19 hours ago) and read 1178 times:

I was a die hard hockey fan all through the 80's. I watched all of the Islander, Oiler and Pens flirtings with dynasty status. I was a huge Oiler fan, what a fantastic team they were.

I agree, it is more or a grinder game nowdays, the flair has been beaten out of it


User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (12 years 17 hours ago) and read 1167 times:

I still think its a great sport. It has definitely changed, with the focus being much more on defense and goaltending. But hey, as a goaltender myself, playing the sport is always much more fun than watching it. I think that is the case with any sport.

People who compare it to soccer, who say its slow and boring, need to strap on some skates themselves and go out and play the game.

NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineSpyderz From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 651 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 16 hours ago) and read 1162 times:

While the excitement level on a whole has gone down, some teams still play an entertaining brand of hockey that involves on-ice speed and not playing the typical trap. The Canucks, Oilers, Leafs, Wings, and Avalanche all score lots of goals and have exciting games. Unfortunately with expansion, the general skill on each team has degraded significantly, and that's why coaches resorted to the trap. The trap actually started in Sweden as an offensive system, but was now migrated to the neutral zone. While most of the Eastern conference is a trap-fest, the Western conference is more wide open and skilled players get more ice. With the entire fiscal pressures the league is experiencing, I propose taxing each team an extra 2 million or so. Then at the end of the year those taxes are re-distributed to the top five or ten highest goal scoring teams. This would provide some incentive for teams to score more goals. As for me, while the 80's hockey was a better brand, I don't long for it since the current edition of the Vancouver Canucks is much better than the 80's version that had to continually face the Oilers and Flames.

User currently offlineIamcanadian From Canada, joined May 2001, 734 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (12 years 16 hours ago) and read 1157 times:

Yes, I do wish more goals would be scored and that the players would play a more wide-open game, but I don't believe it's because of the rules or even the defence that causes the game to be monotonous. I think it's because the goalies are so much more talented nowadays. I'm not saying there weren't ANY talented goalies "back in the day" but with all the advancements in training and equipment, it's almost impossible to put the puck past those human walls known as the goaltender. But I'm not implying that there isn't any exciting hockey TODAY. Just look at that win by the Flyers against Toronto a couple weeks back, what was it, 7-2? One thing that I think the NHL could do to make the game faster is have something like a shot clock type thing...I doubt it would work, but it WOULD make the game faster (then again, I guess they already have that in the NBA and THAT doesn't work, LOL). But myself being a goalie, I don't really see any huge problem with the hockey being played today, but I admit, it COULD be better.

Shut up and calculate.
User currently offlineElectraBob From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 931 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (12 years 16 hours ago) and read 1156 times:

Some real lo-lites for the Detroit Red Wings in the 1980's....

1985-86..40pts (17 wins, 57 losses, 6 ties)

Yes I guess the '80s were OK. If it weren't for the '80s, I suppose the Red Wings teams of the '90s and today would never have happened.

Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.....
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 15 hours ago) and read 1149 times:

It could get interesting next year with the WHA coming back. Rumor has it that most of the old WHA rules will be retained, like no limit on blade curvature (aka banana blades), no roughing rule, no instigator rule, and third man into a fight gets 2 minutes in the Box (as opposed to the NHL's game misconduct). Several well-known NHL players have already said that if the NHL does lock the players out, they probably join the WHA. Brett Hull (dad Bobby is the Commissioner of the WHA) is one rumored to be coming to the league, as is Jeremy Roenick. So far only two cities are confirmed for the WHA restart next year, Minnesota (hopefully they'll resurrect the Fighting Saints nickname) and Phoenix; but Quebec City, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Birmingham, Cincinnati, and Kansas City have also been mentioned as possible locations of teams for the first season. The WHA may signal the return of "Old Time Hockey".

User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (12 years 3 hours ago) and read 1129 times:

No no, don't bring back the 80's. That's like ressurecting Harold Ballard.

User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 31
Reply 17, posted (11 years 12 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1121 times:

As an aside, Hockey News just came out with a special edition magazine detailing a "Best of" of all 30 teams, including players, all-time records, and surveys on arenas, best grub, broadcasters, role players, scorers, skaters, etc.

Tom at MSY

"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2054 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (11 years 12 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1116 times:

Of course the TV ratings of the NHL are ridiculously weak. I think ESPN would be better served to simply show tapes of Oiler games from the 80's.

II Cor. 4:17-18
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