Those are the exact words you hear every time it comes up to around the 8th of October. That magical time of the year when the Zambonis are serviced, the skates sharpened, the sticks flexed, and the bodies checked. Oh yes, October means only one thing: hockey is BACK.
I’ve been a fan of hockey for about 9 years now, after playing a chance demo of NHL 2001 on the PS2 (I’ve just reviewed the latest iteration, NHL 11 over on Press X Or Die if you’re interested in that). It’s a game that captivated me at the time: high-action, high-tempo, high-contact sport, miles away from football (that’s soccer), yet still required a great deal of knowledge of specific rules as to how you can and can’t hit, pass and so on. There’s always so much happening that it’s kinda hard to keep up with, but enough to keep you at the edge of your seat instead of sitting through say, 70 minutes of build-up and only 20 minutes worth of serious offense.
With the season being only a few weeks old though, I must have a bit of concern over these rules on the hitting. As much as I like the heavy-handedness of hockey, some of what I’ve witnessed this season’s been above and beyond what’s necessary. A lot of rough hits, fights and injuries, and controversy. Time to have a look at some of these bruise bringers. (more…)