Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/13/07 at 12:52 PM ET
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Once reserved for the penalty kill, the playoffs or critical moments of meaningful regular-season games, shot blocking has shifted from last resort to first option. It is now a communal responsibility, a nightly chore from which no one is excused. “It’s a fact of life,” Tampa Bay Lightning center Brad Richards says. “On our team, if you don’t block shots, you don’t play.” To the detriment of hockey—and the players who have been injured by truly taking one for the team—the shot block, not the two-line stretch pass, has become the most common, and effective, tool in the postlockout NHL.
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