Sunday, January 18, 2009

The End of Icing - the 2011 and 2012 NHL Seasons

Sports reporter, Miles Blank, has returned from the future where he witnessed the 2011 and 2012 NHL seasons. He made this time-journey because of reports that in 2011 the NHL planned to discontinue its age-old "icing" call. The Source of All Truth, Wikipedia, defines "icing" as "occur[ing] when a player shoots the puck across at least two red lines, the opposing team's goal line being the last, and the puck remains untouched."

Now, The Blank Report:

For years, fans have complained that "icing" slows down the pace of play and should be eradicated entirely from the game. Well, in 2011, they got their wish -- but not without some unforeseen consequences. Inexplicably, right out of the gate, 2011 games had scores exponentially higher than those in previous seasons. For example, the Corvalis Leotards' win over the Butte Flapjacks 249 - 248, after the game went into 19 overtime periods, encapsulated this new style of play and scoring in the "post-icing" era. And not only did scoring increase, but injuries, as well. In that same Leotard/Flapjack game, several players died of exhaustion and aneurysms.

In fact, during the entire 2011 season, upwards of 60 players died, dozens more were blinded, disfigured and struck down with rare, untreatable diseases. The Stanley Cup series between the Maui Drum Majors and the Dalton Doohickies, alone, saw 11 players killed, 13 taken out of action with flash-burns and three who had gone missing entirely after going into the penalty box. The Drum Majors took the series in Game Six in which the score was 197 - 166, in one of the most controlled and defense-centric games of the 2011 season.

The toll, however, was too high. The United Nations demanded that the icing call be reinstated and there was little argument from NHL team owners. The first three games of the 2012 season saw no fatalities, few disfigurements, and scores in the range of 3 - 2, 1 - 0 and 4 - 1. An early stand-out was rightwinger, Harvey Knutsaque, of the Delaware Dishwashers who's only shot on goal dinged off the goal post.

That's the 2011 and 2012 seasons! I must return to my oxygen tent, but hope you will tune in again for more reports from the future.

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