Thursday, October 30, 2008

The secret of hitting...

Puck Daddy has a post today on hits to the head in the NHL, in the wake of Chris Pronger's totally unnecessary whacking of Pavel Datsyuk last night. The only thing to piggyback is to refer back to Mark Moore's 2006 book Saving The Game, which talks about how players rejected safer upper-body equipment -- the padded wetsuit -- several years ago.
"His reply shocked me: he said they did. Their design staff came up with prototypes very similar to what I was dscribing, he said. But here was the reception they got: They were scoffed at and ridiculed by the sponsored pro players they showed them to, who said they looked absurd and vowed they would never wear them. And they were rejected by consumer parents in test-marketing, who statistically always preferred the biggest, bulkiest, most armourlike equipment offered, for their kids."
And yes, as has been obvious for quite some time, the NHL needs to make it a penalty when someone makes a shoulder-to-head check on a player who has passed or shot the puck. It's counter to the purpose of body contact. Hitting has always been more akin to tackling in rugby than in football. Players hit someone to cause a change in possession, or the flow of the play, not to hurt someone. The pendulum has swung too far toward the football mentality, with the difference being that men on skates move much faster.

1 comment:

eyebleaf said...

What is wrong with Chris Pronger? Seriously. Lousy thug.