Published at Friday, April 13th, 2018 - 17:55:39 PM. Hockey Gear and Equipment. By Regina Dania.
Checking is one of the most demanding skills in hockey and also one of the most overlooked by players coaches and fans. It is probably the least glamorous of all skills but one of the most important when it comes to defensive team play. Checking is a skill designed to aid in the recovery and possession of the puck. It should not be used to intimidate or injure an opponent.
It's not that we will or should agree with every decision the DOPS makes. Even its members have told me they don't want or expect that. It's just that we'll wring our hands over suspensions far less if we understand a few important rules and misconceptions. The next time you want to cry foul over a ban or lack thereof consider these six pointers first.
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.
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