Friday, 12 September 2014

Toothless, clueless NHL again tries to curb diving, and to re-invent the wheel.

The NHL announced a new system to try to address the "diving epidemic", and it's an improvement on the last, but still a more of a half-step, a tentative attempt to eradicate a problem that's easy to solve if you attack its root.

I'll say it again, the way to curb diving is to call the actual penalties that precipitate the dives.  Last night on TSN's "That's Hockey", both the insipid Darren Dreger and the conformist Jamie McLennan were in lockstep with the GM's on this one, and harped on how diving was horrible, blah blah blah.

They used two videos to illustrate what is wrong with the act of diving, and just how outrageous it is.   One of them featured Ryan Kesler really laying it on thick, but the opposing player had first grabbed him with his arms as in a wrestling move.  The other featured a player falling back as if he'd been hit in the chest with a shotgun beanbag round, again a transparent dive, but what triggered it was a post-whistle outright punch to the chest by his opponent.

Neither of the esteemed analysts thought to mention that both of these previous acts should have been penalized, and that the diver was possibly frustrated at the repeated offences that didn't cause the refs to blow their whistles, and was just trying to help the refs figure things out.

This idea of a graduated scale where repeated offenders' names are circulated, and which leads to fines, suspensions and repercussions for the coach is much better than idiot Colin Campbell's previous byzantine system of correspondences, "Stop it or I'll warn you to stop again", but it's relatively lenient and ponderous.

It should be based on video review of game tapes, not just calls on the ice, and 'two strikes and you're out'.  First time is a warning, second time you're suspended.  Penalties shouldn't just be to the coach to, but also the team, in terms of draft and/or salary cap penalties.

But the actual root of the problem, and the easiest way to address this, is to penalize players when the hook, hold, trip, etc.  If players know that when they're restrained, the other guys will get penalized, they won't feel a need or think they gain an advantage by diving.

No comments:

Post a Comment