Sunday, 13 March 2011

The State of Hockey

The coverage is endless and the state of the game in question. Injuries, concussions and head shots. Where does it come from and how do we fix it?

I actually heard these guys on the radio saying they'd like to see it go back to the clutch and grab of that we finally just got rid of. They said its slower and has no injuries. Ya well its boring as hell and promotes more 3rd and 4th liners instead of play making stars.

Some say it's the size and speed of the game today. Ya I agree they're big and fast but not that that's the problem.

There are two solutions here that I would have no problem with.
First, the grassroots level training and coaching has to move away from the "finish your check" concept. When I was playing the game the hits were in pursuit  of the puck and a level of control was required to be in position to capitalize on the loose puck. Open ice hits usually were chest to chest or with a hip. A lot of the hits today were interference back then as they continue into someone who no longer has the puck and finish that check.
Second, the equipment is a factor. In the old days and we see pictures of the thin pads and no helmets, guys only went as fast as they could afford to based on running into the boards and not wanting to get hurt. The equipment offered some protection but not enough and so the contact with boards or players was expected but taken into all considerations. Now its rock hard molded plastic, reinforced and stronger than boards. Definitely stronger than bones. Guys will still slam each other, they do in other sports like rugby but lets set aside the sports manufacturers and millions in sales. Lets put some 1920's shin pads and shoulder pads on these guys, give them a good helmet for errant shots(which only makes sense) and let them loose. They won't want to go quite so crazy on each other or even tangle with the boards as much. 

That might just speed up the game!    

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