Stanley Cup Hockey Playoff’s; is it a game or what?   Leave a comment

As a life-long Canadian and frequent hockey game watcher, I would like to pose a simple question:

Why are the Stanley Cup Playoff’s seriously different from the regular NHL (National Hockey League) games in terms of rules and regulations?!

Since when and why are the playoffs a so-called ‘game-changer’?  This doesn’t appear to be the case in any other professional sport, football, soccer, basket ball etc., sports that are every bit as competitive as hockey, so why is it ‘normal’ in the NHL?

If those teams who have managed to achieve the level of efficiency, skill, and/or team-success playing under the supervision of referees and according to rules and regulations, why oh why, do so much of that control simply disappear simply because its now time for those self-same teams to finalize the season?!

Its much like saying to football or soccer players; ‘it was necessary for you to obey the rules during the season, but now that you are playing for the top spot you can kick, bully, thump, and otherwise abuse your opponent with impunity!’

  How outrageous is that approach to all  legitimate professional sports?!

And yet that is what seems to occur in the NHL, year after year.  The commentators happily declare; the referees ‘have put away their whistle!’, simply because it’s the final games of the season.  Therefore the players, with little or no guidelines, proceed to advance from bad to worse in their onslaught of fellow players,a and skill becomes secondary to physical abuse.

IMHO this obfuscation of legitimate rules and regulations shamefully reduces this ‘sport’ to little more than back-alley gang warfare, or ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality, and frankly, if I was involved as a player, I would walk-off in protest… ah but that action would surely bring upon them the same sort of criticism that ‘whistle-blowers’ receive today.

Such moral action would take far more intestinal fortitude than cooperating with the brutal suppression of rules and regulations at playoff time.  Without any doubt the priority for league owners is to appeal to the lowest common denominator akin to mob-rule, contributing in no small way to greedy profits.

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