Observations From the Rink: Maybe You’re Not that Tough

Maybe you’re not that tough. That’s what I would love to say when I see young players taking runs and head hunting their opposition.
You would think that in this era, “the concussion era” of the game that young players would have more respect for their opponents and themselves, but clearly I’m wrong.
I’ve thrown my share of hits before, and I’ve taken probably more, I can’t really remember ever trash talking or taunting a player after hitting them.
Listen I get it, the game has changed, but hitting players late, head hunting and taking runs at people doesn’t mean you’re tough, it means your a lose cannon.

Hitting players with borderline late hits doesn’t make you tough to play against, it just puts a target on you and your best players back.
Taunting a player after you hit while the play is going on makes you a selfish player.
Being strong on the forecheck, tough to play against and playing the game the right way jumps off the page.
Every player wants to get noticed, every player wants an identity.
You want to get noticed don’t cross the line. Don’t run at guys, because you know what, that shit doesn’t fly at the next level. If you want to keep playing like that I suggest learning how to box, because you are going to be forced to dance a lot.
Hey maybe that’s what you want and that’s great, but the last time I checked those types of players have skill now, they play the game the right way and when the moment presents itself they change the momentum of the game or they stand up for their teammates the right way.
There’s no need for antics, your antics will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.
What’s your definition of toughness?
It’s funny that there’s a vast array of players that run around, but when they have the puck they are extremely timid and get rid of it like hot potato. I wonder why? Maybe you’re that tough after all. Maybe you can dish it out, but you don’t like taking it.
You would be surprised how many young players these days don’t even focus on the puck, they just make runs and take themselves out of the play when they could have just went stick on stick or stolen the puck in the first place.
I love watching well timed hits and in your face action, but to all the players taking runs at people, targeting the head with late hits, that’s not toughness, that’s cheap, uncalled for and classless.
Trust me, if you play the game the right way you will get noticed.
Keep playing with intensity and grit, but don’t cross the line.
You want to show toughness, take a hit to make a play, block a shot, stand up for your teammates, hit clean and often. Work on your weaknesses, work on becoming a well rounded complete player not just an one dimensional wreaking ball.
Play on the edge, play a hard nosed game like you can, but most importantly respect the game and yourself.
I wish more and more young players would watch the game at higher levels, because they don’t realize the toll it takes mentally and physically on “enforcers.”
They don’t realize those players true path in the game. They see the highlights or fight clips, but they don’t see all the extra work they do and have done to get there.
They don’t feel the burden of protecting and standing up for their teammates.
You see most young players just want to throw the big hits or make big sounds when they hit the boards and glass. That’s not being tough that’s being a distraction.
At the end of the day it all comes back to the players identity. What type of player they want to be and that players definition of an energy player, a role player, an enforcer, or a momentum/game changer.
What about being a leader?
What about being a good teammate?
What about being a good complete two way presence?
What’s your definition of toughness?
Maybe you’re not as tough as you think?

One comment

  1. Couldn’t agree more. It’s out of control as the players reach checking age. I wonder if introducing checking earlier would help. I believe it would.


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