Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/15/12 at 04:33 PM ET
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
While concussions have dominated the game’s attention – and rightly so – more and more players have taken a puck off a skate and found themselves hobbled for weeks. The exact number of foot fallen is hard to pin down since many teams classify their injuries by region – upper body, lower body – or by insisting it was a pre-existing condition complicated by a bone bruise, à la James Neal of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But more than a dozen players have been officially downed by a foot ailment and the wondering is, why exactly is that?
Is it because bigger, stronger players are using composite sticks and shooting harder than ever before? Is it because more players now measure their worth via shots blocked, welts received? Or are not enough players wearing some sort of guard to protect the instep and middle part of the foot?
The fact most players don’t wear any kind of foot protection (beyond defencemen using ankle guards) is a significant contributor as much as something of a mystery. Some players who have tried guards over the top of their skates don’t like the feel of them. Others say they hardly notice they’re wearing them. One thing is certain: Half the Montreal Canadiens’ lineup believes in them, especially defenceman P.K. Subban.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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