NHL vs. KHL? (Other European leagues)?

Discussion in 'The KHL' started by steveayres35, Aug 12, 2018.

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  1. steveayres35

    steveayres35 Registered User

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    Now, I've heard that European and Russian hockey is more creative than North American hockey.

    Is it because of the rink size? Different style of play? Something else?
     
  2. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    Depends entirely on the skill level of players that are available and the competence of the coaching staff. You can play skillful hockey in a small rink as well (jsut watch the LA vs Chicago Western Confernece finals a few years ago. Although the goalies and defenses became worse the longer the series went on, game 1 was a textbook example of how you can clear a hard forecheck with a short passing breakout. But the generic response to the creativity or skill difference is players have more time to train during the season fro tactical and skill stuff, though with increasingly longer and hectic schedules, that's becaming harder in some leagues (several Finnish league have complained in recent years that they have little time these days to work on tactical stuff during the season).
     
  3. malkinfan

    malkinfan Registered User

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  4. Rcknrollkillnmachine

    Rcknrollkillnmachine Registered User

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  5. Rigafan

    Rigafan Registered User

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    I think this also.

    You see it in the UK. They have a "European league" but they are all Canadian and American minor league players and coaches. So you see teams using Euro sized ice but trying to play dump and chase its not good. Then when GB come up against other teams they try to play the 'Canadian way' and don't have the stamina or ability too.
     
  6. Atas2000

    Atas2000 Registered User

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    It is the basic game philosophy rather than the rink. And some history.

    NA hockey was always more physical and about shooting.

    I will take soviet/russian hockey as an example as it represents the schism of styles most obvious. First of all for the history of sovet hockey. It came into being rather late, after WW2. At the time Czechs and Slovaks united in one country back then have already played it for quite some time. In the SU bandy(or russian hockey(sic!) as it is also called) was played. Thus the first soviet hockey players came mostly from bandy(and some from football). And the hockey basics were taken from Czechoslovakia. Adds up. Bandy and football both emphasize passing and speed and there is no body checking allowed. So first soviet players were no foreigners to skating. Also there is no changes in bandy, so endurance was probably way above of the same time NA hockey players. Bandy is played on a huge surface by hockey standards. Bandy is all about smart passing AND swift skating. Czeckoslovakian hockey was too always about smart (defensive) systems and fast paced couterattacks.

    The result is the still remaining brand of russian hockey. Russians are tradtionally taught more about passing and creating plays rather than practicing shots. On the average Russians aren't great shooters. Training emphasizes endurance. Up to this day. Just ask the NA players from the KHL about the pre-season routines. Just as in bandy Russians would try to create a situation on the ice for the shooter to have a clean shot rather than pepper the net with shots from every angle. Grinding it out in front of the crease and quick shots(on rebounds) are also not exactly strenghts of russian hockey. Amazingly there is also that parallel to bandy. There is not much in front of the crease play in bandy and a few rebounds.

    Taking that into consideration in the SU the great philosophy was always to outplay the opponent by passing. The puck is always faster than the player. You'd still hear that often in Russia. In order to do so players needed to buy into that game of cohesion where all 5 skaters would just "feel" where the others are and will be. Passing wasn't considered a tool to bring the puck up the ice. Lateral passes, backpassing were all to create space and openings. Paired with great skating and stamina that allowed soviet teams to skate circles around the opposition. Every strength is a weakness though. I remember since I was a child guys talking about our teams creating five scoring chances per minute, but not scoring. Remember? Shooting and rebounds.

    The great soviet coaches like Chernyshov, Tarasov and Tikhonov perfected that style. The soviet teams were basically amazing tic-tac-toe machines. Puck posession, patience and creative passing would lead to odd man rushes and breakaways all the time.

    And rink size did not matter that much as the Russian 5 in Detroit would demonstrate. Regrettably one other weakness of this brand of hockey is you actually need 5 guys who buy into that system, can think the game that way. In the NA system players are way more interchangeable. That is btw why there is still far less lines shuffling in Russia. And the whole idea of having offensive 3-man lines and D-pairings that would play with different lines is a NA thing. Soviet hockey would demand five-man units so the players would understand eachother blind on the ice. In a way this concept is very modern as hockey drifts towards a faster game with all five skaters involved in all three zones.

    That said with the level of hockey development in Russia deteriorating and the globalization of the game many of the issues mentioned are a thing of the past. You need a certain level of skill and training to implement that kind of a game. That most russian teams don't have, so more and more they revert to more standardized schemes that can live of hard workers with worse skill.

    The last time I saw something very similar to the soviet hockey was the Red Army(MHL) unit in the junior NT with Gusev - Grigorenko - Kucherov up front. Obviously courtesy of the remaining tradition within the CSKA school. Sad but true. That brand of hockey is gone and is not coming back. It was a privilege to watch it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  7. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    It has more to do with 20 player roster limits compared to 22 in Europe. When you can only use 6 defensemen, you can't build cohesive 5 man units.

    Also rink size does matter, the puck bounces more easily to a scoring area in front of the goal after a missed shot in an NHL sized rink than a European one.
     
  8. Atas2000

    Atas2000 Registered User

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    The rink size does matter for the NA game. It is less effective on a big rink. With the right personell the puck posession, passing based, creative style can be played on any rink. Without the very same personell the big rink becomes rightfully accused of becoming an endless battle in the corners.

    And with or without roster limits russian teams tend to play the top pairings with the same top lines while the bottom pairing/s is/are more on rotation.
     
  9. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    I'd have to say that if the the other team is defensively sound and at least somewhat matched when it comes to material, it still becomes and endless corner cycling game where the path to the front of the net is blocked because the other team logically doesn't want to waste energy running after the opponent. Just collapse in front of the net, block the passing lanes, wait for the other team to make the mistake. It's becoming the norm in World Championship games where pretty much every country can defend like that.
     
  10. Atas2000

    Atas2000 Registered User

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    You can't defend against it that simple if it's done right. Cycling btw is an element of the NA game. If we're talking the old soviet game the goal is to avoid cycling, i.e. repeating action.

    It is exactly the lack of skill that results in today's wicked hybrids and systems. They are effective with the players that are there.
     
  11. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    You can defend against cycling by collapsing in front of the net. I've seen it being done to Finland several times at Worlds in the past two years. When our top NHL players aren't present, the European league players ended up cycling freely near the boards when the opponents stayed away. When someone tried to break into the area, the result was usually blocked shot or pass or the puck was poked away. We've done it in the past as well when we've been the underdog. It's worked against Russia on EHT
    games before we went into the puck possession Our Game thing. I've seen it done in the NHL as well but the distances are shorter and shots harder and more accurate so scoring chances are created from the blueline more than in Europe.
     
  12. Faterson

    Faterson Delayed Live forever Sponsor

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    Ouch. Good content, horrible English. Kuznetsov really should have hired a proofreader to put his article into standard English. (And don't say it's "charming and authentic" the way it is.) ;)
     
  13. Bluesguru

    Bluesguru Registered User

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    The ice is too big, the game gets boring. The NHL rink forces more action and quicker decisions. Has more pace. Bigger ice means you're further away from the goal. Try scoring on a slapshot from the boards in a Euro rink. It's just too big.
     
  14. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    Just to balance the views, the size of the rink also tends to make SOME NHL games looking more like ping pong rather than controlled attacking. This is the point when the hybrid rink size discussion begins.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  15. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Also one could make a point you aren't supposed to score with slappers from the boards because that's a garbage goal. And this is where another discussion begins.
     
  16. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Keep in mind, the reason that small ice game has more scoring is because of deflections or blocking of goalie’s view. There are certainly far more fluke goals on small ice.

    To score on big ice requires a lot of skill and creativity.
     
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  17. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Yeah, I used to say goals in Europe are scored while in the NHL they just happen. That's partially how it is.
     
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  18. Bluesguru

    Bluesguru Registered User

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    I agree with your take. I'd be all for the NHL going to a hybrid rink. I think that might be perfect. But I doubt the NHL would ever consider making that change. I mean, would that be doable? Would the NHL consider that and how costly would that be? Not to mention potential lost revenue with seating.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  19. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    I think that point was countered years ago on the main board with "you're not taking out the most expensive seats near the boards, you're just moving them back and eliminating the cheap seats in the back". Also discussed was how eliminating just one row might be enough but that and the whole process in general would depend on how retractable the seats were in each arena. Meaning if they had to be removed physically separately or just stacked under the previous row.
     
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  20. Faterson

    Faterson Delayed Live forever Sponsor

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    The NHL ice is too narrow, the game gets boring. Players just keep bumping into each other, with there being not enough space to develop creative play.

    It's just too narrow.
     
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  21. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    As a pure hockey fan, I like the big ice game better. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s tougher to score and there are far less fluke goals. Teams must rely on skill and creativity instead of creating traffic in front of goalies and shoot on net every chance you get.


    With that being said, I represent the minority. Vast majority of fans are casual. Goals put butts in seats, that’s just a fact.

    If I’m the owner of hockey team, we are playing home games on small ice.
     
  22. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    I don't like the usual binary thinking regarding rink size, after all if some aspects of the game seem lacking then it is possible to do also other alterations than just switch to NHL/International rink size.
     
  23. Whiskey In the Jar

    Whiskey In the Jar Registered User

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    Not necessarily. If you have enough speed and skill you can generate offense rather easily. Good example are both last season finalists Las Vegas and Caps. Then again, imo 2014 olympics held in large rink were rather boring for example. Super defensive hockey and hard to score it seemed but even in Nhl teams played more defensive during that time.

     
  24. Faterson

    Faterson Delayed Live forever Sponsor

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    Exceptions are always possible, but when we talk in generalized statements (and we shouldn't) like "It's too big", "It's too narrow", then the trends are as stated.

    In reality, of course, the game can be both boring and exciting on both the American and European ice. Depends on the teams and players.
     
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  25. drewjenks

    drewjenks Registered User

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    It's because no one hits you when you put your head down and 'be creative'.
     

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