Two Paradoxes are very interesting to me.
Both deal with rules differences between college hockey rules and junior hockey rules. I am not interested in getting into a debate on if both of the following are right, wrong, or indiffernt. However, just something to think about.
Why is fighting allowed in USA junior hockey? I am not exactly sure. I don't really have a problem with it. There are some things that are rathering interesting about it. The first being you can not fight in NCAA hockey. If you fight, you are gone. You very rarely will see any fighting in the college ranks. Yet if you go to many junior games it is a kin to the movie slapshot. Last year I was in Michigan doing some recruiting. I thought I had a perfect plan. One game started at 3:30 and the next game, which was about 10 miles away, started at 5:30. The 3:30 game started around 3:45. The first period ended at 5:15. There was a line brawl, two other fights,ant the goalies challenging each other. And this was a pretty high level of Jr. A hockey.
The player I was suppose to see at 3:30 only got my attention for a period. It took away from a lot of the game, if not all of it. I don"™t really care who can fight or who is the toughest guy on the team. I could even care less about the marginally talented 20 year old out there just to fight. Lost in all this mayhem were some pretty good players. In the parking lot another scout and I just laughed about it as we headed to the next rink. That was the only chance I had to make it to Michigan...The other scout said all the games were like that. I just shook my head.
2. Face Masks
The NCAA is testing out whether the idea of having facemasks or not is a good idea. I think there are a lot more negatives in the college game than positives. Whether it be medical staff cost increase, the chance to miss more games due to injury, or the fact that no one wants their future lawyer to have a 8-inch scar on their face from college hockey. I can not see the NCAA following through with this proposed rule change. If they do, I will support it and follow it.
But, I do think that having half shields in USA Jr. Hockey is archaic. Again, I can see the pros and cons of these arguments. I hear them all the time. I do think that there is a bit less dirty stick work in college hockey ( for the most part) and a lot of the egregious stick fouls to the head may not be as much of a problem as they are in the junior ranks. I'd like to think so anyway. I am not sure.
There is also something to be said for how players wear their half-shields. Why is it the rage for players to wear their half shields so the only thing it covers is their forehead? I wonder if these players and parents know that by wearing it like this you basically throw away any warranty of protection from that helmet and/or cage? I wonder if the players realize they look somewhat absurd. To me, and this is just me, if I see a player hit the ice with his shield up around his eye brows, I will consciously or subconsciously think that player probably doesn"™t go to the dirty parts of the ice.
It just seems strange to me that two major parts of the junior game are polar opposites from the college game.