This year’s NHL playoffs have had all the stories and drama that any fan could ask for. But what were some of the most significant events so far? The overtime goals? Nope. The acrobatic saves? Nope. Fights and penalties have been the most eye popping and dominating playoff headlines. Most notably, the Penguins and Flyers series has been filled with more fights than goals (and there were plenty of those too). What baffles me is: why would they risk suspension and injury for nothing in the playoffs? Last time I checked a right hook does not count as a goal or assist. This is not to say I promote pacifism instead. I want to see a physical game, not a boxing match. One of the fights involved Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux, two of the league’s best who have also endured nasty concussions. If I was facing the end of my career as a result of post concussion syndrome, one of the last things I would do is drop gloves and fight.
If this was 15 years ago, then hockey fights were just as important as the goals scored. But after the league has stepped up player ‘safety standards’ (go figure!), the games now matter more. Here are some numbers:4 player suspensions, 724 penalty minutes dealt, and 11 misconduct penalties. Oh and that is only through the first 5 nights of games folks.
Should player penalties and safety standards be increased?
Though it draws so many people and is considered tradition, North American hockey is the only form where fighting is allowed and almost encouraged. Should we pursue the elimination of hockey fights?