Monday, May 13, 2013

Hockey

I want to talk about hockey. The first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs is almost done, in fact, I'm watching Game 7 in Anaheim (thank you NBCSportsNetwork) as I write this.

Anyhow, I really enjoy hockey. It's my second favorite sport after baseball. I never played (ice hockey) as a kid. Where I grew up it was mainly a rich kid sport because you needed so much equipment, ice time, etc. If you weren't rich, you needed to live a little further north than I did so it would get cold enough for natural ice throughout the winter. I did love to ice skate though, we'd get to go to the rink a few times a year.

I played with a few friends who were into hockey while in college. It was there that I learned why guys get so upset with each other when playing...some of the things that happen really hurt! My "friend" took a slap shot off my foot, and when I went down he laughed at me a little. I wanted to kill him. Then we went out to play some pond hockey for fun and I got my finger skated over. I was just wearing snow gloves. Needless to say not an enjoyable end to the night!

I guess my point is that I can see why there is fighting in hockey. What I don't get is this whole head-shot thing that is going on. If you follow the NHL, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, just google it.

I think the reason that head-shots are such a problem now is that both the game and the equipment have evolved. The last time a player went helmet-less was in 1997. When players were all going around without helmets, there was more to lose if they gave someone a head-shot, as they would be open to retaliation via a play or a fight. This deterrent doesn't exist today. A guy can knock someone out, maybe get suspended for a few games, then come back and score the winning Game 7 goal!

I think they need to take these head-shots out. Its not part of the game. We're not Romans. What reasonable parent would let their kid play hockey if they knew that they would be subject to a life changing injury at some idiot's whim.

I hope they take care of this because the next generation will only consist of goons and not the skills if the trend is not reversed.

It would be interesting to see a NHL game played without helmets as an experiment.....

On another note, one of the best things about hockey is that it is such an international sport. You have players from all over the world, and the NHL is truly unique in that it has a significant number of Canadian teams. I'm American, but really love Canada. We're lucky to have them up there!

Did you know that the NHL is LNH in French (aka Quebec)?

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