Another defensive tactic—and one that's dangerous, to boot—is the last thing the league needs. Scoring is down a half a goal per game from last season's 17-year low of 5.83 per match, and reducing slashing would help open up the game. The longstanding argument that slashing is an ingrained part of hockey is at best irrelevant and at worst silly. In an era when players wear short gloves and wield aluminum sticks, slashing is more dangerous than ever. In addition to Hull and Turgeon, Canadiens wing Brian Savage and Bruins center Joe Thornton have missed substantial playing time this season because of slashing-related injuries.
NHL rules mandate a penalty for any slash that "impedes the progress of an opponent." Every slash impedes. It's time to enforce the rules.
At Least He Doesn't Snore
At various times during his nocturnal wanderings, Senators winger Shawn McEachern has knocked over a pile of dishes, broken his ribs by falling and bloodied his forehead on a shelf. He's a sleepwalker. "Usually I wake up somewhere in my room, pee and go back to sleep," he says. "I've also ended up in the hotel hallway."
McEachern roams most often when he's nervous. "Before my daughter, Alison, was born [in June '96], I was sleepwalking every night," says the 28-year-old McEachern.
Rookie defenseman Chris Phillips, who has roomed with McEachern this season, has been awakened more than once by McEachern's midnight meandering. "He doesn't look like a zombie," Phillips says. "His eyes are open, and he can hear. I'll say, 'Mac, go back to bed.' And he goes back to bed."