Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/03/09 at 09:08 AM ET
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
...Part of the problem here—a huge part of the problem I suspect—is that Penner simply doesn’t look like a hockey player. Instead, Penner looks pudgy. Chubby, you might even say, or fat, if you were a coach on a losing streak.
His skating stride appears to be leisurely. He ambles more than he churns the ice. Even when he’s making an effective deke, he appears to be doing so in slow motion.
In those rare moments when he does really get it going, when he hammers a shot on net, or uses his size to hammer an opponent into the boards, it only tends to make things worse for Penner, leaving fans to ask: Why can’t he do that every night?
Penner’s main issue is optics, that hockey players aren’t supposed to be pudgy and slow, and when we rate a player like Penner, it’s hard to overlook our strong visceral reaction to his appearance and style of play.
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