by Alex Brownscombe
Here are some interesting comments on the embryonic NHL season.
“Fighters aren’t supposed to wear visors; I guess people might think you’re weak. I’ve had to wear a visor because of getting a puck in the eye and as soon as you go on the ice, they look at you like, `Whoa, what’s going on? Are you going European on us?‘”
Is it “European” to drive a car with a seatbelt? Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point in the game where it’s not about class; it’s not about “manhood”. It’s about personal safety, the respect for one another out there is dismal. The reason why there wasn’t a high death toll in the era of no helmet hockey is because there was respect for one another, no one was out there flailing their stick around, no one was pulling a Hossa on Berard, a Perezhogin on Stafford. Now I am hearing that the NHL may be implementing a forced visor rule. I am not necessarily in support of it – players should make their own decision whether they wish to see out of both eyes or not – but if they are caught in the eye with a stray stick, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
“I have probably more metal plates in my face than he (Avery) has goals. That’s why I wear a visor.”
Another lesson in the prejudice of generalization. Just because a player decides to wear some protection doesn’t make him a coward – it’s just as likely that he’s trying to take a precaution to safeguard the rest of his career from re-injury of an old war wound.
“If there had been two guys ice fishing across the street, I would’ve been out of the ACC and watching them. There is no flow to the game.”
Sherry Bassin, Erie Otters GM
Many aren’t happy with the new rules. Games that feature 40-50 minutes of odd man play are boring. Promised end to end flow is non-existent, and the strength aspect to the game has been neutered. Players used to need strength to power their way along their boards, but now almost anyone could do it. Steve Thomas was venting about this last week – a big part of his game was fighting through checks, and now that skill set is no longer involved in the game.
“Instead of the shootout, Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson should’ve sat down in the face-off circle and had a game of Texas Hold ‘em.”
‘nuff said…shoot-outs have about as much to do with the game as some random contest of chance. 4 on 4 is exciting, following it with a skills competition is deflating to many old school fans. A better option is to follow the 4 on 4 with 3 on 3, 2 on 2, and ultimately 1 on 1 if necessary. As anyone who’s witnessed this in minor hockey tourneys will attest, the drama just keeps getting more intense and there’s always an outcome that bears a resemblance to the team game.