I've lived in Buffalo all of my life. I'm an avid sports fan who fits in the young male demographic that these corporations pine for. However, for some reason, I never gravitated towards hockey. I always played basketball, football, and baseball growing up. I had nothing against the sport. I just didn't find much time for it.
This year I made a serious effort to get into the game by watching as many games as I could. I think, in the past, I must have watched a total of less than 20 NHL games in my life. I know the team and goings on pretty well as I listen to WGR constantly, read the Buffalo News, and listen to a handful of games each year. However, this was the season I was to become a true Sabres fan.
Then you know what happened?
I watched about 10 games before I fully realized that the game (in its current state) sucks. It's painful to watch.
- I love the NBA because watching players like Ricky Rubio is breathtaking. NHL jerseys and helmets make everyone look the same. It's too hard to find where the stars are.
- I can't watch 15 minutes of play where noone scores. In my 10 games, I witnessed waaaaaay too many three goal games. Brutal. Absolutely brutal.
- When teams do score, it usually only comes when it magically bounces off a player or two. To the untrained eye, it almost seems like luck plays a role in 30 to 40 percent of the goals. No thank you.
- I hear way too many times, during intermission, Kevin Selvester or Harry Neal say "The Sabres were lucky to escape that period 0 - 0" or "The Sabres thouroughly outplayed such and such a team in that perioud". What I'm trying to get at is that, more than any other sport (by a country mile) outplaying your opponent doesn't consitute anything on the score sheet.
Something needs to be done as I know hockey can be exciting. I remember watching game 6, I think, of the Sabres v Senators playoff game where Pominville scores the game winner. That was one of the greatest sporting events I've ever seen in my life. If I'm not mistaken the game ended up a 5 - 6 Sabres victory.
I've recently brought these issues up with a few of my friends and they always use the same dumb argument. They say that a 4 - 2 hockey game is the same as a 28 - 14 NFL game.
NO. IT. ISN'T.
In a 4 - 2 NHL game there are about 6 meaningful plays. You guessed it, all six goals. The constant back and forth and shots on net that consitute zero goals are ultimately meaningless. In the NFL a big play at your own 23 yard line is still a big play that ultimately helps your team win. There are tens of "big plays" in the NFL. In the average NHL game there are usually 4 or 5. This sucks.
I just did a little research. Take a look at this...
Number of goals scored in 2010, average NHL game - 5.34
Number of goals scored in 1981, average NHL game - 8.17
How Gary Bettmen allows this type of game to be seen by potential fans is beyond me. He is the worst commisioner in all of pro sports. He needs to be ousted.