May 16, 2012, 1:35 PM EDT
Former New Jersey/New York center Bobby Holik is speaking out about the shot-blocking craze that’s sweeping the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Over at his website, Holik on Hockey, the two-time Stanley Cup winner says he’s “not a huge fan” of watching the Rangers incessantly collapse around their net. While he readily admits the Blueshirts aren’t the only team doing it, Holik says they’re “the poster boys of this new style.”
More from Holik:
I played for a team many still call the most boring ever, and even credit us with “ruining” hockey. I would like these folks to check the goals-for stats for some of those teams. (We led the league for a couple of years)
The so called Dead Puck Era was not caused by the New Jersey Devils winning three Stanley Cups in eight years. It was caused by rapid expansion, diluting the talent pool, and the league’s refusal at that time to enforce rules already on the books.
We are in a different era now and it’s time to focus on today’s game and how to make it better. If you think everybody blocking shots, collapsing around net (creating a force field) and eliminating most scoring chances is the proper approach then you are winning.
It is such a powerful trend it has altered player’s equipment. The plastic skate guards many players wear could be mandated on some of the teams, and they shouldn’t be. If you are going to include shot blocking as a part of your game, you shouldn’t be wearing extra equipment to protect against the consequences.
We already have goaltenders, we don’t need six.
Don’t know if I necessarily agree with this line of thinking, but it certainly is interesting. Original, too.
There’s an interesting juxtaposition at play with regards to shot-blocking. The most common phrase associated with it is “paying the price” and we’ve seen players pay it this postseason (a shot block broke Jay Beagle’s foot, for example.)
At the same time, blocking shots is now a standard practice — thanks in large part to equipment advances — and more players are doing it than ever before.
Would taking away protective material raise the price? For sure. But it would also make for a very slippery slope.
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