“Just Shut the Damn Door”
It’s a cringe worthy moment. It’s like the entire rink can see it happening in slow motion.
“Would someone just shut the damn door” goes through everyone’s mind. Everyone can see it happening from a mile away. In that split second everyone’s heart is in their throat. Then the sudden relief pours over the entire rink as the bench door finally gets shut. How many times does that happen in the run of the game? How many close calls are there in a single game?
It happens at every level imaginable. You don’t have to be around the game a long time to have all seen at least a thousand borderline hits close to the benches and gapping doors.. Those kind of hits borderline on catastrophic. In this day and age with so many people or team personnel on the bench you would automatically assume that two people would be assigned to open and close the doors. Seriously though, just close the damn doors.
From the borderline to the unthinkable. I’ve witnessed a lot of players go in hard around open doors. The sound of those hits are horrific. The scene after is equally as bad. What’s it going to take for people around the game and again at every level to ensure that the four doors to the benches get closed as quick as humanly possible after a line change is complete. Players coming off the ice at every level shouldn’t be responsible for closing the door. It’s almost asinine to think they should. Then there’s the players that target other players close to the boards when the door is open and take runs at them. It’s the ultimate dirty hit and it’s happening more than you think. So many young players fly off the ice and the door stays wide open for like almost 5 to 8 seconds without being touched. Back in the day, the backup netminder and one trainer would be in charge of closing them. Things ran more smoothly back then, but there were still some instances where the door would fly open due in large part to the person on the door holding the latch up so they could open the thing quicker or shitty old latches.
The days of folded arms and having four coaches standing up barking orders to their hockey club from their perch on the bench is in full effect. Add an athletic therapist and equipment personnel to the equation and you have a shit ton of people that are perfectly capable to potentially prevent a life altering accident, and potentially career ending injury from occurring by simply closing a door.
The game has changed so much, it’s so fast and things can happen in a matter of seconds. Accidents and injuries can happen in the game, we all accept that and know that going in. Obviously, some things are out of our control, but let’s just shut the damn doors already, because that’s one aspect of the game that we can all control.