In the never ending saga of concussions
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03-07-2011, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North of the Tank
What about the New Rules?
This is an intriguing question raised by one Hall-of-Famer who prefers not to go public, fearing the sort of backlash that followed Mario Lemieux’s tirade in which he accused the league of allowing a match between his Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders to disintegrate into a “travesty.”
“Is it just a coincidence?” the one-time star asks. “But ever since they brought in those new rules, we’ve had an incredible run of concussions and suspensions against players taking runs at other players’ heads.”
The new rules, he says, were brought in for reasons everyone is aware of – to speed up a game that had become hopelessly bogged down in clutch-and-grab interference tactics.
“Now you have everybody looking for that long breakaway pass up the middle,” he says. “And you have a defence unable to defend, because they can no longer slow anyone up.”
The inability of the defence to grab on to players enough to slow matters down, he says, has led to a number of significant changes in the game. One is that the collisions are fiercer than before the lockout. The other is that, with the defence held back by the rules, it now falls on forwards to deliver many of the hits previously left to the defence – some of those hits ill-considered and often coming at dangerous angles, including from behind.
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