NHL

Enforce the rules…and improve them too

Enforce the rules…and improve them too

Enforce the rules…and improve them too

Just a few days ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins might have been wholeheartedly in favor of a major rule change that no one has proposed.

Or ever will.

You know, the rule that says the team that wins a game is the team that gets the most points in the standings.

Considering the Penguins were in an 0-6-1 skid when they ventured into Washington last Wednesday, it’s understandable that they would have pushed hard for this one to change. Or abandoned

But now that their situation has stabilized somewhat — they took five of a possible six points on a three-game road trip that ended with a 5-4 overtime loss in Montreal on Saturday — it’s likely they won’t come up in conversations around. the team offices. (Not that I ever did, of course.)

The league, however, has some rules and practices that should be reviewed and adjusted. Or discarded. Between them:

Don’t punish the victims

On the face of it, immediately punishing a player for a flagrant act, especially one that targets and injures an opponent, seems perfectly logical. Justice delayed is justice denied, and all that.

This makes a lot of sense in society at large. It doesn’t necessarily do the same in hockey.

Consider this hypothetical: It’s mid-March, and the New York Rangers, who are in contention for first place in the Metropolitan Division, are playing the Penguins.

In the second period, Sidney Crosby throws a forearm at the head of the unsuspecting New York defender Jacob Furn. No penalty is called (not that such a thing would go unpunished in real time, of course), but Trouba can’t finish the game and, in fact, has to sit out the next one.

Because the league would never allow any player, especially one with a reputation as a bounty hunter, to get away with such a serious hit, Crosby is suspended for three games.

The problem is, two of those are against Carolina and New Jersey, teams the Rangers are competing with for first place in the Metro. Without Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ chances of beating anyone decrease significantly, indirectly hurting New York.

It really doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Here’s a simple solution: Give the team whose player was the target of the suspension-worthy hit the option to determine when the league-imposed penalty goes into effect. The punishment must be served in consecutive matches, but otherwise the aggrieved club can dispense justice as it sees fit, either to benefit or harm the club whose player caused the problem.

Another possibility: force him to serve his entire sanction against the team whose player he assaulted. In the above example, have Crosby sit out the next three Penguins-Rangers games, even if some are in the playoffs or don’t happen until the following season.

Use your head

Executives, coaches and players are talking about the importance of eliminating head shots from the game, especially with the growing body of evidence on the potential long-term impact of concussions on a person’s quality of life.

But while headshots aren’t necessarily frowned upon, there seems to be a widespread acceptance that, at least sometimes, it’s an unfortunate byproduct of a game played at high speed that requires participants to make decisions in a split second about things like where and how to cash a check.

Simple solution to get rid of them: make them all illegal.

It doesn’t matter if one is completely accidental, as when a shoulder thrust into an opponent’s sternum travels up his chest and hits his chin, or with intentional malice.

The severity of the punishment, from a minor penalty to a lengthy suspension, can be tailored to the specifics of the situation, but players must learn that hits to the head will not be accepted.

They have adapted to countless rule (and cultural) adjustments over the years; remember when scrambles and stops for two-line passes were integral parts of the game? — and they would also get used to the ban on all blows to the head.

Radical? May be. So is not being able to dress or remember your children’s names when you’re 45.

Do what the good book says

This has been suggested a time or two (billion) times over the years, but umpires should enforce the rulebook as written. period

It shouldn’t matter if it’s the first shift of the preseason opener or overtime in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. If there is a clear violation, call it.

A referee who decides that he does not want to possibly determine the outcome of a game by assessing a penalty in a particular situation does exactly that by not making the call.

Allowing a guy to get away with a hook or grab or hook is not “letting them play”. is letting one team gain an advantage by operating outside the rules.

Make up your mind…quickly

There are video reviews in almost every sport that seem to last longer than some celebrity marriages, and taking three, four or five minutes to determine whether an official’s call (or non-call) was correct disrupts the flow of the game. competition and gives television viewers an incentive to see what might be on another channel.

Of course, the purpose of these reviews is to make sure the officer in question got things right, but if reaching that conclusion requires a frame-by-frame examination of the video that drags on for well over a minute, if so, the original call should stand and play should resume.

Of course, this could mean that a wrong call may stand from time to time, but if someone scores a goal despite being offside by the width of an ice chip or a receiver is still considered out of bounds that there was actually a blade of grass among his. foot and touchline, the sport in question will not be shaken to its foundations.

Also, if a player is upset with such a replay decision, they can always take it out on an opponent. Maybe with a blow to the head that will probably go unpunished.

Enforce the rules…and improve them too



#Enforce #rules…and #improve

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