Complaining and sports. They are two things that go hand in hand. No matter the result of any game, someone will be upset and find some part of the match to complain about.
For the Flames, the most recent example of this was all the Toronto Maple Leafs fans unloading on Matthew Tkachuk following his fight with Justin Holl. Really he seems to be the target for most teams and that's why the C of Red loves him.
But the other group that can be the target of backlash is the zebras on skates. Referees usually bear the brunt of criticism, some of it is warranted, some of it isn't.
But the decisions they make are all based off the rules the NHL creates, and that is the starting point for today's roundtable discussion.
What rules would you like to see changed in the NHL?
The first rule I would like to see changed is the kicking the puck into the net. I think it is one of those rules that is completely up to interpretation of what a kicking motion is. Of course there are moments where it is extremely obvious, but at the same time, who cares. If the puck can be go into the net off someone's body part and count or even off a players skate as long as they aren't kicking it, then they should just allow it to be kicked in. The other reason this rule should be changed is the NHL wants to see more scoring and I think this would guarantee an increase in pucks crossing the line. For example, two goals were taken away in the Flames game against Montreal on Saturday, one for each team. Now this might make defence and goaltending a bit harder but it could increase the creativity that already exists among the most skilled players in the league.
I have a second rule that I would like to see changed and this would dramatically impact the standings. I think it is time for the NHL to change the point system. I don't think a win in overtime or a shootout should be worth the same amount of points as getting the job done in 60 minutes. The NHL should switch the a 3, 2, 1 format. Three points for a win in regulation, two for a win in overtime or a shootout and then still one point for the loser of the 3 on 3 or skills part of the game. I think this would help show which teams are actually good and which ones are able to climb the standings thanks to having more ice to work with once the 3rd period comes to an end. Some teams that are benefitting from the current system now include Pittsburgh who only have 12 wins in regulation but they have 19 total on the season. Even in the Canadian Division, while the Winnipeg Jets have been good this season, things could be a little different as only 13 of their 19 wins have been in regulation.
This is an interesting question because as much as I'd like to encourage a rule change on the ice, a lot of testing through minor leagues has to happen first (see 3 on 3 overtime). I for one absolutely detest shootouts and think they're the worst way to decide a game, so an extended overtime format would be cool.
With this being said the rule change I'm more adamant on is already in the process of being changed. The NHL lottery format is completely abysmal. As a team sport, introducing one game changing player isn't going to make the last place team competitive like it can in the NBA. This is primarily the reason why the Oilers selected 1st overall four times in one decade. While they were bad every year and weren't lucking into the #1 pick by accident like Philly or New York, adding guys of that caliber over and over again took its toll on teams like Buffalo who were just as bad but picked 1st only once.
I think the rule change they are going to implement is restricting teams to winning a top 3 pick in back to back years. This will help discourage tanking while giving bottom feeder teams better shots at getting their game changing player.
Let us know in the comments what rules you think the NHL should look at changing to help improve the game on and off the ice.