Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • It's Not About the Size (though that can help)


    The problem, proponents say, is that the Wild are too small and not physical enough to succeed in the playoffs. The assumption and implication is that size is a key factor in being a successful hockey team. Is this the case?

    What this view loses is the fact that hockey is, always has been, and always will be about scoring more goals than your opponent. Every action a player makes, every move a GM makes, and each lineup decision a coach makes should be with that goal in mind.

    In order to score, you must first possess the puck. By default, then, if you possess the puck, your opponent cannot score. Physicality, therefore, is useful for gaining or keeping possession of the puck.

    That statement is intentionally broad, and allows for all kinds of physical play. There is a mental aspect to hockey, and physical play can certainly affect it. However, extending that line further, when a player makes bad decisions, they lose possession of the puck, possibly in an exposed position. This brand of physicality is about possession, just by a different route.

    Changing Focus

    You'll note that all of the above statements are about physical play. Physicality is a wonderful asset; watching "Angry Mikko," "Beast Mode Coyle" or this video over and over again warms the cockles of my heart (or maybe it's in the sub-cockle area).

    Hockey communities, as a habit, look at size and mistake it for a style of play. This manifests itself when younger players who are small but play physically are told to stop and become a skill player, while bigger, skilled players are turned into enforcers. Granted part of this is to protect the small kids and help the big players take advantage of their natural size.

    The hockey community needs to look past the surface and see what is important. Physicality has a place in hockey, certainly. Size as well plays it's role. But the time has come for us to stop mistaking one for the other. Otherwise, the NHL will continue paying large players more by nature of their size, despite smaller players being more talented. We will award poor players with #grit over smaller players that produce, and the league will be missing out on some great players because they are "just too small."

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...