I have written almost 300 posts, and this is the first time that I have acknowledged that hockey exists. I attended a Los Angeles Kings v. Boston Bruins game back in March, and actually had a blast. It was way more fun then I expected it to be. The arena was packed, and the atmosphere was pretty intense. Now, I am not a full-fledged member of the hockey brotherhood. If you put a gun to my head right now, I do not think I could name more than 20 active NHL'ers. That being said, hockey isn't all that bad, but there are certain aspects that bother me. Here are a few.
Goalies get wins: This is absoultely baffling to me. Why do goalies get wins? I mean, in baseball it makes sense that pitchers get wins. NHL teams do not use a rotation of goalies, nor do they have relief goalies. For instance, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick started 69 games. NHL teams play 82 games. Can you imagine if Roy Halladay started 130 games? With that being said, if a goalie is pulled with his team leading, does the new goalie get the win, or does he get a save? Are there holds in hockey? It makes no sense to me.
Where's the damn puck?: I watch hockey on television, and it seems that I lose track of the puck within 30 seconds. It flies up or the goalie has it covered up under their 70 pounds of padding. It makes following the action difficult. FOX tried to address this, when they had the "glowing puck," but that innovation was short-lived, as avid hockey purists considered this blasphemous. I suppose the game does not translate to television, because I was able to see the puck watching live, despite sitting at the top of Staples Center.
To fight, or not to fight: Fighting is a key component of hockey. Teams employ guys who can mix it up on the ice, and give their team that key intimidation factor. However, it appears to me, that the NHL sends mixed signals about fighting. On one hand, it is seemingly encouraged. I have even read articles where players were encouraged to mix it up. The officials often try to attempt and stop the fighting, but it seems pointless. Fighting is a great way to bring in the casual fan. If there is one thing that I have learned about sports, is that advertisers and networks value the eyeballs of those who do not usually watch a particular sport. NBC knows all you motherpuckers are going to watch regardless, but they want people like me, to tune in.
Lack of Dental Plan: This is the single most baffling thing about the NHL, in my opinion. Hockey is a brutal, violent sport, and it seems fairly common that guys get their teeth knocked out. These players also do not seem to get their teeth fixed. Is losing your teeth in the battle for the Stanley Cup a badge of honor? You would think guys drawing large salaries would be in a rush to get a couple of veneers. Hell, losing my teeth is one of my biggest fears. I suppose too many checks to the head makes people think that looking like the lead hillbilly from 'Deliverance' is a good look.
This post is not designed to bash hockey; in fact, I kinda dig it. There are just some things that make no sense to me. Enjoy your hockey, folks!