Thursday, December 9, 2010

Head Shots and 4 on 4

Ok, I was hesitant about the 4 on 4 OT when it was implemented. In no other sport do you drop a player in extra time.  But, I would love to see extra innings in baseball where each team drops an infielder.

But I digress, I was just re-watching the December 4th Blues/Oilers high-lights and at the risk of sounding like just another thick-skulled Canadian can somebody tell me when the supposed Andy McDonald concussion ocurred?  Bumping in to Whitney's knee?  Seriously?  Not a chance.  This unearths another issue I hate, the head-shot rule.  I agree, protect the players, concussions are very serious, but some of these collisions you look at and you think "when did he suffer brain trauma?"  He did get hit in the head but it wasn't much.  You hear NHL execs talk about how a hit three years ago was ok but now it's not.  Great, take physical play out of the game to protect the players.  Why not enforce safety equipment first, like making mouth guards mandatory, ear protection mandatory and get these guys to properly fit their helmets.  There's an alarming number of skate lacerations these days, why not make it illegal to sharpen your skates? NHL logic of course.  If you're an NHLer why wouldn't you wear a kevlar sock rather than the status quo.  Again, change the protection not the rules before skates are illegalized.

Back to 4 on 4.  It's great!  I mean I hate it, but it's great.  All the other changes to make the game more offensive were cool but the fact is the bigger faster players of today need more space, so make the ice sheet bigger, which will never happen and can't work, but the effect that more ice has on OT hockey is astounding.  It's way better.  McDonald blows a tire on the other teams blue line,boom, the games over, five on five that goal never happens but with more ice the game has more flow, more scoring opportunites. 

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