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How to Stop the Diving

From Justin Bourne at The Hockey News:

The fix the refs need to make is two-fold. The first part is they simply need to get back to calling diving penalties (unsportsmanlike conducts) the way they used to - and the way they did on Jordin Tootoo in Game 6 against Vancouver. As James Mirtle pointed out in his column Tuesday morning, in 2002-03 a diving penalty was whistled an average of once every 10 games. This season, the grand total was a mere 32.

The second equally simple and important change we need from the officials is to stop waiting for there to be a body on the ice to call a penalty, as they’re prone to do. A hook is a hook is a hook. Just because a guy is strong enough to stay on his skates doesn’t mean he was any less hindered than someone whose balance isn’t as good.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: diving, penalties



Posted by pstumba on 05/10/11 at 05:01 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Wow, what a disgrace to the ‘C’. I’m sure vancouver fans would argue that the hit was high and he nearly got killed.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 05/10/11 at 05:26 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I’ve got to call shenanigans on the whole “A hook is a hook is a hook” nonsense.  It has become accepted that anytime a player gets his stick “parallel to the ice” that it’s a hook and that’s totally not true, as we all know by looking at replays of penalty calls (when there are replays). Hooking is supposed to be “impeding another players progress by use of the stick”. I remember in the 90s (I’m only 32, by the way) that there wouldn’t be a hooking call unless it denied a player a quality scoring chance, or was a blatant “water skiing” hook. Everything else was just a stick check and you were taught as a kid to fight through those. Same thing with holding now. I’m sorry but just because the “free hand” is put on a guy doesn’t mean he got held. More often than not, the player getting called for holding never actually grabbed on.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/10/11 at 05:42 PM ET


Chris, you missed the memo sent out by the league after the lockout, which completely redefined the meaning by video examples.  A hook is using your stick to make contact with opponent’s body.  A hold is putting your glove on your opponent’s jersey.  It’s been that way since 2005, it’s nothing new.  What’s new is that the refs have not been consistently applying that standard.  They were actually a lot more consistent until maybe around 2008.

Posted by Kel on 05/10/11 at 06:12 PM ET


The article is absolutely correct.  If the referees call penalties more often when the players don’t fall, fewer players will dive.  If the referees call less penalties when the players fall, fewer players will dive.  Ironically, the real problem with diving is that referees are not calling enough penalties.

Posted by Kel on 05/10/11 at 06:18 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

So even though hooking and holding have been penalties for years and years, and just because the league wants offense to increase, hooking and holding have become “sticking” and “palming”? That makes absolutely no sense. But then again, this is the NHL.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/10/11 at 06:22 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

Ironically, the real problem with diving is that referees are not calling enough penalties.

Bingo. In any case, more penalties should be called to benefit the guy that plays through a slash to the ankle rather than the one that acts like he received a grade 3 concussion from it (I’m looking at you, Thornton).

Sedin’s expression reminds me a little of this:

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 05/10/11 at 07:44 PM ET

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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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