Hockey on Hulu

Not sure if this is new or not but Hulu is now showing NHL games. 13 of them are “classics.”

I’m watchingIslanders vs Oilers - Apr 24, 1981. I wasn’t born when this game was played but it is non stop action.

Ah…I loves me some 80s hockey whenever they show it on ESPN Classic Canada here. Lots and lots of goals; the Oilers set the all-time record with 446 goals for in 83-84. By comparison, Detroit led the league last year with 295, a figure that would have placed them 16th out of 21 teams in 83-84

I don’t really follow hockey, but I’m curious, why the difference? Rule change?

Lots of reasons. A few that come to mind, off the top of my head:

Overexpansion in the early 90s, making it harder to accumulate a lot of offensive talent on one team
Reluctance to call restraining fouls (i.e hooking and holding)
Bigger goaltenders with extra-extra large goaltending equipment
The New Jersey Devils winning the Stanley Cup in 1995 playing the neutral zone trap, and the resultant copying by other coaches.
Increased use of video as a scouting/coaching tool. In the 70s and 80s, Roger Neilson, coach of many NHL teams, was derisively nicknamed “Captain Video,” for his use of videotape. This is SOP today.

On the contrary, I see a lot of hooking, interference and delay of game type penalties these days. The game has changed a lot since the 90s. I think it was getting really bad for a while but recent rules changes and enforcements have really opened up the game to more scoring lately.

But yeah, New Jersey did change the game with that.
Best part of the classic games is seeing guys without helmets! Might not be as safe but at least you can put a face on the player.

Paradoxically, perhaps having no helmets/flimsier protection could actually have been more safer. Old-timey type players talk about having more respect for the other guy than players do now. They were careful to keep their sticks down and not drill the other guy from behind, lest someone get really hurt out there. I don’t know if this is borne out in fact, though.

Not only no helmets, but lots of facial hair back then. I can’t think of too many guys now that wear beards and mustaches as a daily thing(ie, not part of a playoff beard).

It’s also weird seeing nearly no advertising on the boards and ice surface.