Originally written on Goon's World  |  Last updated 11/15/14

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 30: Head coach John Tortorella of the New York Rangers during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on January 30, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Rangers 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
There seems to be a lot of discussion on what would open up the game of hockey. Some want to get rid of shot blocking; others want to limit the number of players that can line up in front of their goal. Some have suggested that the size of the goalie equipment is making goal scoring hard. Now Rangers head coach John Tortorella has chimed in, Torts would like to see the return of the “red line.” I think that is a horrible idea and would really slow down the game of hockey.
“To me, I think they need to put the red line back in,” Tortorella said yesterday as his team prepares for Game 1 of its Eastern Conference final matchup against the Devils tonight at Madison Square Garden.

“Look at the puck possession teams,” Tortorella said, “they’re out.”

Coming out of the lockout in 2005, the NHL made it legal to make a two-line pass, meaning coming from out of one’s zone, behind the blue line, a pass could be made to a player beyond the center-ice line, the so-called red line. It was a pass that used to be illegal, immediately blowing the play dead.

The new rule was designed to open up the game, and if it did for a while, the way teams have adapted is by playing tighter in their own zone.

“Because it’s a game of ping-pong,” Tortorella said. “The game is a long pass, forecheck, defend. Another long pass, forecheck, defend.”

With a history of fines for criticizing the league, Tortorella then looked at the NHL representative in the room and added, “I better just leave it at that.”
I like the way the NHL is currently run, albeit the officiating would be a little more consistent during the playoffs but the NHL is comprised of the best players in the game of hockey and you’re not always going to have a 8-7 game, some games are going to be 2-1, 1-0, 0-0… I have no idea what bringing back the red line is going to do but slow the game down more and give us more unnecessary whistles and stoppages. Please leave the game of hockey alone.


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