Friday, March 4, 2016

What the ... rule change?!?!?

I have been rereading "The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory" by D'Arcy Jenish, that my best friend Stig gave me one Christmas. It was put together from newspaper stories and some other 1st hand sources. Fantastic read. But I digress.

In the chapter about the 1955-1964 Seasons I read a bit about the effect of the 2 Minute Penalty being changed. Until 1956 a player had to remain in the penalty box for the FULL 2 minutes. That is what happens now for a 5 minute penalty. It was changed after the 1955-56 Season basically because the Canadiens were unstoppable.

The Canadiens were a force to recon with back then. They dominated the NHL. The players were so talented that their third and fourth lines could be a 1st line on other teams. Keep in mind there were only 6 teams in the NHL then. The Canadiens frequently scored multiple goals on one power play. One of the most famous incidents happened on November 5, 1955, Jean BĂ©liveau scored three goals in 44 seconds, all on the same power play, resulting in a 4–2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

In the book it is put forth as a means of teh other teams to keep the Canadiens down. When other teams, like Detroit, dominated there was no talk of changing the rule but now that the canadiens are dominating it had to be changed. The Board of Governors, the owners of the other teams, outvoted the owner of the Canadiens and thus the rule was changed.

I am not one for conspiracy theories but it really looks like the change was done just to stop the Canadiens from dominating. Until then no one cared. Then it became important. Oh well. I am used to the rule as we know it now. My problem is with icing during a penalty. If a team is being penalized why the fuck are they allowed to ice the puck without play being sent back to their end?!?!?!?!?

Go Habs Go!

P.S. I LOVE this book. It was the best Christmas present anyone could have given me. If you are interested in the Canadiens it is a MUST read. Right up there with The Game by Ken Dryden. If you are interested nin the NHL and hockey it is a great read because it shows how the NHL started and has evolved.

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