Even when rules work out in your favor, they’re not always easy to watch as they’re implemented.
On Thursday evening in Boston, the Philadelphia Flyers got nine power plays. Nine. Compare that to the mere three that the Boston Bruins got, and you can either make a claim that calls were one-sided or that the Flyers have adjusted a bit better to the new, tightly-called slashing and faceoff infractions. Not that they scored on any of their nine power plays, though..
Either way, it appears as if the National Hockey League will be dialing back from the sometimes absurd amount of calls being made as players attempted to adjust to penalties that would’ve been extremely weak in the past.
Preseason adjustment already by officials on slashing and face-off violations. NHL sent note to officials yesterday to dial it back a bit.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) September 23, 2017
Fans around the league have voiced their displeasure over a whistle being blown every two minutes and players have had a tough time adjusting as well. Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been one of the most outspoken against the new rules. As much as it pains to say, he makes a pretty good point about potentially decisive penalties being called because of a foot on the hash mark.
While it’s definitely beneficial to cut back on slashing due to injuries to players like Johnny Gaudreau, who had to miss a good chunk of time after getting slashed an insane amount of times in a game against the Minnesota Wild last season, it’s hard to draw the line between acceptable stick play and an infraction.
The players need to adjust and not slash the hands as much as previously deemed fair play, while the league needed to recognize that not every stick that makes contact with another stick or glove is a slashing penalty. Let’s see how the next batch of games are called.
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