Yeah, that’s right. This is getting ridiculous. I am very mad and upset that you cannot fight in the NHL playoffs. And yeah, sure… I may not know hockey like the back of my hand like I know baseball but I’m getting irritated watching these Stanley Cup final games.
I don’t understand why there is a rule or lack thereof a rule during the season that allows hockey players to fight someone if they so choose to do so but yet in the playoffs there is no such leeway. In the NHL playoffs you have more viewers, more ticket sales, more exposure to fans that maybe do not watch the game in the regular season and yet players are not allowed to fight. The sport of hockey and the National Hockey League is literally the only high end professional sporting league (besides the UFC and boxing, obviously) where you are allowed to punch, push and fight someone if you are upset with them. But yet, on the biggest stage when everything is at stake and the players emotions and adrenaline are at an all time high, referees break up the intended scuffle.
I mean, why?! Fighting in hockey is signature. After watching game 1 and 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup final, this is one of the most physical finals that I’ve watched in the last couple of years. There’s a scuffle after almost every whistle. Guys are getting pinned down to the ground, helmets ripped off, checked against the glass, poked in the eye but yet in the league that allows them to fight, it does not allow them to fight on the biggest stage. I just don’t understand. Would it not increase viewership even more? Would it not get people who usually don’t watch hockey on a regular basis, watch more when the players can fight on the biggest stage?
The big thing for the NHL and it’s players is costing their team the game by getting a major penalty. Since the late 1990’s, the postseason has traditionally featured about one-fifth of the fighting of the regular season, as measured by the number of fighting majors issued per game. Just like olympic hockey, fighting is frowned upon in the playoffs. Since 1995, the NHL players association informed the NHL and it’s officials that they did not want fighting to be incorporated with playoff hockey, being afraid that it could cost teams crucial games. Hence, now we can see the refs during each of these games, break up scuffles and what would soon enough become fights (especially in the 82 game regular season). And on one hand, I understand that you don’t want to cost your team the game by fighting and getting stupid penalty in a crucial situation. But at the same time, fighting in the game could elevate a teams confidence, morale and momentum during the game.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but I would love to see playoff fighting. I think that it would change momentum in some games, get the fans more involved and most importantly for the league, have us talking about the fight the next day at work/ school or blowing up social media. Isn’t that what you want as a league? To get more exposure for your game? The NHL and the players association should try to change this within the next few years if they want to increase viewership.
That’s simply a fact! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter– @jmoorereal. Keep up with all things Boston featuring news, podcasts, articles & more by following “the Wicked Take” on Instagram and Twitter– @thewickedtake.