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THN.com Blog: Hockey's most selfish play

Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings carries the puck across the blueline as teammate Tomas Holmstrom looks to stay onside. (Photo by Tom Turrill/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings carries the puck across the blueline as teammate Tomas Holmstrom looks to stay onside. (Photo by Tom Turrill/NHLI via Getty Images)

You know what the worst play in hockey is?

It’s not a winger leaving the zone before the puck gets past his point man. It’s not challenging the shooter on a 2-on-1. And, no, it’s not throwing the puck up the middle in your own zone. Although, those are all sins any hockey player should repent for.

No, the worst play in hockey is also the most selfish. It negates scoring chances, kills odd-man rushes and stops any momentum in its tracks.

The play I’m referring to is when a skater forces an offside before his attacking teammate with the puck gets there. And, as a frustrated and irritated George Costanza would say: “It makes me so mad!”

Too many times already this year I’ve found myself getting a rise out of an oncoming rush, preparing to get up out of my seat to get in a primo position to watch a quick scoring chance – whether it’s a great goal or save - only to have the lead attacker coast over the line and strike down any opportunity at all.

There are just so many ways to avoid it. The first one is probably the most obvious: just stop. The second – the one that most puts your groin at risk – is to turn and straddle the line to keep momentum for when it is safe to cross. You could also just peel off to the bench and change because, really, if you’re just going to go offside, chances are your coach is pulling you off, anyway.

You can’t score a goal if you don’t get a shot on net and you certainly aren’t going to get a shot on net if you can’t advance the darn disc into the attacking zone. Going offside on the rush instantly takes away your team’s position of power and makes everything neutral again.

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Sure, this play is bound to happen and you can’t always avoid it. In fact, you could be the victim of a smart defensive play and get forced into an offside. I just can’t believe how many times I’ve already witnessed it this year. And most of those times the player has drawn a whistle without anyone or anything forcing his hand.

It’s an all-around bad move and guys getting paid millions to play shouldn’t be coasting into them. Beer-leaguers on the other hand, well, I guess we can forgive ole Buck if he can’t stop himself like he used to.

ARENA IN LA-LA LAND
Something just isn't right in Los Angeles.

It seems like every game they host at least one panel of glass gets dislodged from its position. Someone should probably get on that and fasten these things a little more securely, because it puts the health of both fans and players at risk. Not to mention it can't do much for TV audiences.

Not only that, but last Friday when the Kings hosted the Hurricanes and the puck was acting like a tennis ball, you saw just how bad – and random – a game with poor ice really is.

This L.A. team has a bright future, now they just need a home sheet of ice that’s better than a homemade, backyard surface to play on.

Rory Boylen is TheHockeyNews.com's web content specialist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Tuesdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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