Published at Monday, April 09th, 2018 - 12:43:16 PM. Hockey Gear and Equipment. By Henrike Elvira.
Common perceptions specially among Twitter's most vocal fans are that the NHL's Department of Player Safety struggles with inconsistency that stars get preferential treatment that there is no rhyme or reason to the league's decision making. That couldn't be further from the truth however. During the 2014-15 season I visited the NHL DOPS war room and learned everything I could about how suspensions happen. I've spent the next couple years further brushing up on the subject and I've realized the war between the fans and the DOPS stems primarily from one problem: lack of education.
Players must learn to protect themselves especially along the boards. When going into the corner use some fakes with your body stick or skates to avoid being a stationary target. Keep your skates parallel to the boards rather than pointing toward the boards. As soon as you pick up the puck move out of the area quickly. If you can′t avoid being checked position yourself to accept the blow. If you are checked from the side keep your head up get a good stable position feet apart knees bent body in a low position forearms and hands on the boards.
Don't forget the parents. Most coaches kick off the season with a parents' meeting to lay down a few ground rules discuss philosophies and map out a course for the season. That's all well and good when the season is young and everyone is refreshed and ready to go. Keep the lines of communication open throughout the course of the season with regular meetings and weekly emails so you can discuss issues that may pop up from time to time.
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