Put in play: the NHL clamps down to the players on centre

Sport 24 September, 2017

Photo: Frederick Breedon Agence France-Presse
In eight preseason matchups Monday night, the 49 punishments were imposed for slashing and the other nine for in-game illegal.

While the NHL began its calendar of preparatory this week, everyone has had to put hand to the dough to the circles put in play and the penalty bench is suddenly filled.


The players of the center have been deported repeatedly circles to in-game, while players, unbelievers, were sent to the dungeon for having tried to land a shot to stick on the gloves of the opponent.


It was all part of the plan of the league to fight against the cheats to the circles put in the game and eliminate the blows to the arms and hands. And as long as the focus will be on these measures, the players will have to adapt.


“We had simply the impression that we had been too tolerant and that it was time to tighten the implementation process in the game, especially in regards to the traits in the betting circles in the play, commented the director of referees of the NHL, Stephen Walkom, Tuesday. It was becoming dangerous for the line judges, because the skates of the players were behind them. “


“We are trying to make them understand that it is important for the integrity of the process in the circle of stakes in the game, as well as for the safety of the players and line judges. “


In eight preseason matchups Monday night, the 49 punishments were imposed for slashing and the other nine for in-game illegal.


Strengthened regulations


These changes are not the result of new regulations, but simply a strengthening of the former.


For the game, the players must face and keep their skates behind the lines. Most of the players of centre cheated by the closest possible to the circle of the put in game to get an advantage over their opponents.


“The players approached it so much that they were banging on the head before the washer is placed on top of the ice rink, said Walkom. The traits have been present since the mid-1990s, but with the time, the players have continued to approach. “


If a player is cheating, he is expelled from the circle put in play and a teammate must take his place. If a team commits this mistake twice in the same game, it receives a penalty of two minutes.


But, obviously, the players have been caught unawares, and at least one of them was chased on each game. Wingers and even defenders when the teams played short two men — have had to put hand to the dough, even if the line judges met with each team before the games to explain how they would proceed to the circles put in the game.


“In the first period, Phillip Danault has not taken a single bet in the game — and he usually plays at centre, has told the attacker the Habs Charles Hudon. This is very weird. “


For how long ?


Some observers wonder how long this will last. The league has fought against many offences before they become more tolerant as the season progressed, and downright close eyes in the playoffs.


Walkom was the director of referees in 2005-2006 when, after having put an end to the lockout, the league was contested in the clinch. This struggle continued for a few seasons, and today the referees impose still penalties to players who place their stick in front of an opponent in the hope of slowing it down.


As a result, players have developed a tendency to give a blow of the stick on the hands or the stick — to- their opponents in order to regain possession of the puck. The league wants to put a stop to that.


“I know that they will not stop to do so, because it has become a reflex, but I hope that, with time, players will stop this kind of behaviour,” he summarized.