Friday, December 15, 2006

The Age of Diving?

1) Despite declarations to attempt to curb the prevalence of drawing penalties(diving), there has been no apparent change in the predilections of the offenders

2) As with any trend, players quickly learn and adapt to the way rules are called. Thus the ability to embellish in the new enforcement/zero tolerance age of the "New NHL" has fostered the act of diving to new heights(lows)

3) The Lightning are NOT alone. Taking in a recent Pittsburgh game, Sidney Crosby was seen to be on his ass as much as his skates any time an opposing player came near.

4) We have seen no real crack down on this. For one its difficult to detect. Unless its obvious, ala Bill Barber of the 1970's, most modern divers know how to not 'over act', but do enough to get the attention of the poor/sap ref.

5) There is NO easy answer to this issue. If 2 sets of eyes are blind to the issue, we doubt another would help. We can remember only former ref Paul Stewart being adept at calling out players who tried to make him look bad with a dive. Maybe the NHL brain trust(oxymoron) needs to look into hiring officials who can see the difference an actual infraction and an Academy Award Performance. Until then the crack down by the NHL of obstruction penalties will alow the divers thrive and that talent to spread!

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