Dear coaches of the NHL,
A quick question for the lot of you: What gives?
And NHL team owners and GMs, why are you guys just sitting back, paying these guys big salaries, and letting this crap happen?
(I would direct a word or two towards Goon Bettman, but he really doesn't understand the finer points of the game...even after all these years. And, frankly, he's not worth the time it took to type that.)
I really do not understand what I'm seeing or why I'm seeing it.
In what alternate reality can a player expect to put his head on level with the boards while an opposing player is skating in for the check from very close proximity, and everybody acts like it's a big surprise when the stupid guy is injured?
Because in this universe, you do get hurt for doing that crap...and I'd be tempted to argue you should be hurt for reason of stupidity, as well as committing a midget level mistake.
I have it on good authority from my brother and several friends (both male and female) who were/are hockey players that coaches do teach players how to not get hurt. If it's not the first lesson, it's one of the first five.
So what's the deal with supposedly professional ice hockey players forgetting a basic tenet of the game? No offense intended, but I find it really hard to believe that none of your coaches taught you that on the way up. In fact, I will call you a liar to your faces for it.
But coaches, c'mon, why the heck aren't you doing your job and teaching these kids how to play hockey in the NHL?
Mr. Julien, and all of the other coaches out there, please...I beg of you...teach your guys how to protect their brains and bodies.
The Flyers follow through on their checks because they learned to take their hits standing up and shouldering into it. There's no turtling, nor any looking right at the guy and giving him your back when you're standing a pace-and-a-half off the boards.
As a result, the reasonable presumption would be that other professional hockey players were taught to do and will do the same thing. (Hey, Grapes, Melrose and Keith Jones can only all be in agreement on something if it is, in fact, the truth.)
Had Bergeron and Alberts done that, Jonesy and Hartsie wouldn't have the "meaningless" suspensions they've been issued...and Colin Campbell wouldn't have to issue them.