Despite the necessity of it, the increase of intensity across the NHL is taking its toll. As playoff spots are getting harder to come by, the game is becoming even more dangerous. At least 3 teams are dealing with injured captains, one of whom (Gabriel Landeskog of Colorado) is undoubtedly the cornerstone of his organization. The Flyers dressing room is looking like a mobile army surgical hospital, with several key players, most notably Scott “Hulk Hogan” Hartnell, out for the time being and Danny Briere still below 100% after a hairline fracture of the wrist in Germany. The boys of Black and Gold are having their struggles, as well, with sniper and premier pest Brad Marchand, as well as Merlot Liners Dan Paille and Shawn Thornton, out for the short term.
It’s either up for the league to, at the risk of looking Orwellian (maybe they are already, but hey, freedom of excess) step up the disciplinary route to make the game safer or the folks on the ice need to make the conscious decision to increase protection. We’ll just have to see how it plays out. Until next time, remember: Winning is not something you do, it is a habit.