Sunday, February 15, 2004

Brian Burke's wished for rule change

Last week the NHL Gm's and Governors sat down and cobbled together some new (old) ideas to help speed up the flow of the game and try to put some more offence into things. Moving the nets back again, tag up offsides and reducing the golatenders handling of the puck, are just some of the ideas to be tried.

But if you're Brian Burke of the Vancouver Canucks, there's one rule you want to have implemented as soon as possible. The abolition of the second period. For the third game in a row, the Canucks left their effort in the dressing room between periods one and three. Last night, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks collected a 2-1 win at GM Place mainly on the disappearance of the entire Canuck team in the second period. This follows a similar effort on Friday night against the Atlanta Thrashers. Earlier in the week they had their troubles with the Calgary Flames and again the second period seemed to be the main problem area.

For what ever reason the Canucks seem to go into an extended intermission mode, that includes the twenty minutes of live time between the first and third periods. They seldom hit, can't score and welcome the opposition members into their end of the rink, as if they were holding an open house. Last night the Ducks outshot them in the second 15-6, testing Hedberg nine times in the first 90 seconds of the second period. To say he was left on his own would be an understatement.

They then rebound in the third, valiantly trying to get back into the game and recapture the quickly slipping away points. There has yet to be any solid explanation as to why they disappear for twenty minutes each game, but surely it must be a concern of both coach Crawford and GM Burke.

So they have two choices, figure out the on ice problem and solve it quickly. Or go to plan B, get that rule change into effect ASAP, instead of three periods, go to two halves. Maybe that way, the Canucks will be able to avoid that second period let down.

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