Bruins-Canadiens: NHL Branches into Professional Diving
I know it's an Olympic year and all, but all this diving is getting a little old.
It's rather ironic, really. The crackdown on interference calls has turned crews of tough guys into off-balance imbeciles. Go down, draw the penalty, be the hero, right?
Wrong. At least, wrong in my book.
A period can't go by in the Canadiens-Bruins series without a coincidental minor (or three) where one player commits an infraction, and the opposing team is called for the dive. I don't think it's a matter of whistle-happy officials trying to make a point, either.
Maybe my mind was slipping. Maybe I'd forgotten that these types of calls had been made all season.
Oh wait, they were. And most players learned their lesson. That lesson being that the referees are going to call any and all interference calls (sometimes even the imaginary ones) but if you add a little flair to your fall, you're going to the box as well.
I watched the Wild-Avalanche game immediately following the Bruin's victory in Game Five. Not a dive to be seen.
Sometimes I wonder if Alex Despatie has been secretly coaching hockey.
Now, it could just be all this cold weather out west has the ice feeling extra hard, and the boys don't feel like executing the embellishments the boys back east have been perfecting. I don't buy that.
I'd like to make the suggestion that Montreal and Boston forwards watch the highlights from games around the country right now. Watch the players that are skating hard, working hard, completely focused on their goal: Lord Stanley's Cup.
I'm not saying that other teams are playing harder, or want to win more; I'm merely suggesting that other teams are willing to stand up and play the game the way it's meant to be played. On their feet.
Both Boston and Montreal are slipping on their defensive coverage,and slipping badly. Whomever gets back to basics will come out victorious in game seven.
Enough of the theatrics, boys. Save those for soccer players and touchdown celebrations. Six games in, and you're giving credence to the old definition of insanity: repeating the same action and expecting different results.
These are the playoffs. If you want to win the Cup, it's much easier to do so on your feet and out of the penalty box.
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