by Patrick Hoffman on 03/24/11 at 02:39 PM ET
From good friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MSGNetwork.com:
1) Recent suspensions are having the desired effect in the NHL—particularly the Penguins’ Matt Cooke getting banned for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for his elbow to the head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Based on watching body language and situational behavior around the NHL lately, you’ll notice players avoiding shoulders and elbows to the head, not delivering knock-out style hits when an opponent is vulnerable, and in many cases not hitting high when given the opportunity. Despite recent incidents with Cooke and others, this started to change towards the end of last season, when the new blindside head-shot rule was introduced. Call it a gradual indoctrination to new standards if you like, or characterize the progression as intentional or unintentional—either way, I think the changes are already paying dividends in reducing the number of hits that could cause concussions.
2) Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the Buffalo Sabres establishing an NHL record by scoring nine goals in a single period. The bison with swords tallied nine times in the second period on March 19, 1981 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Buffalo. The teams also set the mark for the most goals by two teams in a single period: 12. The final score was 14-4.
Click here for more great hockey thoughts from Rob Simpson.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.