Hockey

How a concussion to a Carolina Hurricanes player showed the senseless side to hockey

Canes coach Brind’Amour on the fight between Svechnikov and Ovechkin

Watch a time-lapse as Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour talks about the fight between the Canes' Andrei Svechnikov and the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin Monday, April 15, 2019. Svechnikov was injured and did not return.
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Watch a time-lapse as Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour talks about the fight between the Canes' Andrei Svechnikov and the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin Monday, April 15, 2019. Svechnikov was injured and did not return.

“It’s just a part of the game.”

That’s always the explanation.

So after Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov was knocked out and concussed by the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin on Monday night, I’d imagine that’s what many folks are saying.

It’s unacceptable.

Regardless of the fact that Svechnikov is essentially a kid at the age of 19, I can’t for the life of me understand why fighting is still a part of hockey. Nor can I fathom why the NHL and its referees allow it.

In the NFL, we’re at a point where many people are angered over the lack of physicality as players are protected against violent hits more than ever before. Keep in mind, those types of hits are ones that would at least affect that game.

The hockey fights are mere sideshows to the contest being played out on the ice. They are completely unnecessary.

Yet, there are many casual fans who say they like to either watch or attend hockey games because of the fights. That’s aside from those traditionalists who will argue that it is an integral part of the game.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not here to be the “take all physicality out of sports” guy. But I am here to try to bring some common sense to the table.

I admit, I’m not a hockey fan and never have been. I rarely turn it on and usually only do so during the Stanley Cup finals. Even then I rarely watch a whole game.

But I do take notice when headlines such as this Svechnikov-Ovechkin one pop up, mainly because it’s so senseless.

I was watching Monday night when Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins blew his quad on a non-contact injury, ending early an impressive comeback from last season when he blew out his Achilles’. As much of a whiner and bully Cousins can be, I hated to see that happen to him.

But at least in his situation you can say it occurred while playing basketball.

Svechnikov’s injury came during an incident that doesn’t affect the game, but now it could play a part in the series. With the Hurricanes making headway in the first-round playoff series, cutting the deficit to 2-1, they will now likely be without Svechnikov in Game 4 at the least.

And this type of thing could happen to any player. Imagine if it was the other way around and Ovechkin was the one who got knocked out? The whole series could swing.

Therefore, in the name of putting the best product out there, let’s stop the fighting. Sports pose enough physical threats and injury occurs too often as it is.

Let’s use our heads and stop beating each other’s brains in. The game will be better for it.

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