Discussion in 'ECHL, NWHL, and other Minor Pro Leagues' started by Nightsquad, Oct 12, 2018.
Just wondering what y'all thought of the ECHL level of play. Congratulations on your inaugural win
Comparing it to the AHL/IceCaps - It felt like a much more free flowing game but played by lesser skilled players. Which is not a slight on the entertainment value of the product. At times the AHL felt like NHL style hockey played by the AHL players which made it feel very slow and boring on some nights with how structured the play was and how the players were not 100% skilled enough to play the system as well as the parent NHL team to make it fun to watch. This league seems to play much looser which leads to more chances and entertainment. (All my personal opinion, someone else may feel completely different)
On the other hand, it did feel like the first game of the season with lots of missed plays, passes and giveaways. Maybe the play will become more structured and tidied up as the season progresses.
The building was sold out and lively for the first hockey game in a year and a half. I had a great night and felt that everyone else I talked to enjoyed it as well.
Oh and BTW the jerseys look great on the ice!
I'll be surprised if your opinion of the games changes when the season is over. Because the players all have faults with their skill sets it leads to games that are a lot more wide open (or "loose", as you called it). It's a very entertaining league to watch.
The Growlers might be a good team. They have speedy, skilled forwards, big, tough D, and a good goalie.
Great to hear that there was a sell out!
Definitely a more run and gun style game then the AHL. Thats due to the individual skill development, and the lack of defensive skill set. ECHL is more of the "individual" development, while the AHL imo is more of a "systems" or "team style" of development. This might not sit well with some new ECHL fans because as the season goes along player turnover drives some people nuts. To enjoy the ECHL I often suggest to purists or knowledgeable fans to focus on individual player development during the regular season. Its not until the playoffs it seems that teams start sticking with a system lol. Its a league of odd man rushes, broken plays, some physicality more so then the AHL, but you will see goals, saves, and plays worthy of the highlight reels.
I only caught one game the weekend but I found it good. Like mentioned above I found it was less structured so it was the open style of play which was a nice change from the AHL.
I found the AHL was higher skill level of course, but not as open. I found the game speed was fast and some really nice goals and saves.
One thing I noticed was the passing was not as good. Like the hard direct passes where not as common as they were in the AHL.
But overall very happy with it. Will be going to more games for sure!
Great observations and suggestions.
I grew up on the NHL, AHL and the World Hockey Association. I've learned to really enjoy the brand of hockey played in the ECHL.
The Cyclones opening game this past Saturday featured plenty of scoring, skill, chippyness and fights. I was entertained. And at the end of the day, hockey is an entertainment product.
I've been a season ticket holder now for 13 years-since the Cyclones came back from a 2 year suspension. I've had the chance to meet and talk at length with players, coaches, front office and owners. They are, in general, so accessible and willing to talk. Some of these people are now in the NHL, AHL, KHL and top collegiate hockey programs. Many others are insurance salesmen and bartenders! I've had a chance to interact on a level that is impossible in the NHL. Just the other day there was a season ticket holders event at US Bank Arena. Got to shoot from the far blue line and try to put the puck into about a 5 inch opening and if you did you got your season ticket for free! I missed. Badly. LOL. But I ended up screwing around on the ice for about 15 minutes at the end of the event while talking to the new coach Matt Thomas. Very engaging and open guy. I continued that conversation for about 10 more minutes outside the arena. That's never going to happen with an NHL team.
Many of the players have at least one skill that is NHL level. It could be their shot or their skating. Many goalies start their careers in the "E" and end up in the show. There is plenty of talent in the league, but it's not as prevalent as it is at the higher levels. But there's enough to create some "wow" moments on the ice.
Enjoy your new teams!
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