Old School Hockey vs. New School Hockey: A Debate That Needs to Die

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June 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NBC hosts from left Liam McHugh , Mike Milbury and Keith Jones prepare for game six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I thought so, anyways.

To play old school hockey is to stop playing hockey, during a hockey game, and have the players essentially become bounty hunters, hunting down opposing players.  This style of play is the most sure fire way to being unsuccessful, in the game of hockey.

New school hockey, which Hawks head coach, Joel Quennevilleinstructed his team to continue playing, after the hit on Toews, is the only way to truly play hockey.

Even after the vicious Raffi Torres hit, on Marian Hossa, during the 2012 playoffs, Quenneville still insisted that his team stick to the game plan, and play smart hockey.

Unlike Milbury, Quenneville has had success coaching, in the NHL.  While Milbury and his old school ways earned him an under .500 career winning percentage, as a head coach, Coach Q has the 3rd most wins, of all-time, amongst NHL head coaches.  Not a coincidence.

New school hockey is logical, forward thinking, mature, and efficient hockey.  It is hockey that doesn’t stop to let it’s players become mindless goons, instead it is hockey that is always progressing and trying to WIN THE GAME.  After the Orpik hit, the Hawks peppered Penguins goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleurywith shots-on-goal, as the best way to get revenge, would be to win the game.

Unfortunately, the Hawks didn’t win the game, because hockey games, especially against a team like the Penguins, are hard to win.

What’s more important?  Hitting a Pittsburgh player, or earning 2 points, to stay ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, for home-ice advantage, in the 1st round of the playoffs?  If you have to think about the answer, then just stop reading this article.

Home-ice advantage, in the 1st round, means a better chance of the Hawks advancing, in the 1st round, which obviously means a better chance of the Hawks making it to the Stanley Cup Finals and better chance of repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.

Isn’t that why they play?  Isn’t that the ultimate goal?  Isn’t that what you, as a fan of the Hawks, want more than anything, for the Hawks?

If you said no to that last question, then do us all a favor and never watch hockey, ever again.

Anyone who says that new school, less physical, more offensively-minded hockey is soft, or wimpy is more often than not an insecure buffoon that is unable to keep up with the ever-changing world of hockey, around them.

Hockey is already a tough sport, that requires mental toughness as well as physical toughness from each and every player that plays it.

New school hockey which is best defined as actually playing hockey, when compared to old school hockey.  It is finding a way to score more goals than the opponent, which is the whole point of playing the game to begin with.


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Tags: Brooks Orpik Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews Injury Mike Milbury New School Hockey Old School Hockey Retaliation Part Of Hockey

  • Lloyd A Brodnax

    Excellent and informative article! Go Hawks!

    • Blackhawk Up

      Thanks Lloyd! Have A Great Day!! LET’S GO HAWKS!!

  • oldwhiteguy

    Great article. Well said.

  • Brian Soda Man

    The naivete of this article is astounding. You don’t retaliate to ‘feel good’ you retaliate to send a message that any other team that wants to run one of your skill players will face similar retribution. Like pitchers tit-for-tat in baseball when a teammate is hbp. If you don’t respond the next team will quickly grasp the concept of competitive advantage by running your skill players into the boards and onto the lockerroom. It wasn’t as if Orpik didn’t intentionally want to hurt Toews !!!! That was his intent !!! I suggest figure skating as you ‘new hockey fans’ sport of choice.

    • Brian Kinkade

      Retaliating to “feel good” or “send a message” is what kids do on school yards, not what professional hockey players do, in the NHL, in 2014. I get what you’re saying and the day and age of sending a message has passed, just as intentionally hitting batters, in baseball. Leave all that stuff in the 1960s and 1970s and let’s move forward. If your idea of hockey is to stop playing hockey in order to hurt someone for hurting one of your own guys, maybe boxing is more your sport. I get where you’re coming from, but the point of playing hockey is to win hockey games. Going out to send a message will likely result in a penalty, and a Power Play for the opposing team. Might I remind you that the Penguins have one of the best Power Play units, in the NHL, and giving them an opportunity on the mad-advantage is just about the dumbest bit of strategy that I’ve ever heard, especially when the Hawks were already losing. There’s no better message to send than to come back and win the game.

      • Brian Soda Man

        Showing even more naivety. Did you watch the Pirates/Cubs game last night? 60s or 70s ? Its how sports are played TODAY !!!! Intimidation is a major part of sports especially at the professional level. You need to react in a fashion to deter future intimidation attempts by future opponents. This ‘wussification’ of not only sports but American male culture is retarding people’s perspective of professional athletics. Chicago Blackhawk Hockey doesn’t yield to intimidation. God I miss Iron Mike Keenan.

  • one of the old guys who should

    this is the worst article ever if you want everyone to play your so called “modern hockey” guys like orpik should be not be allowed to play “modern hockey.” quit calling this a “clean” hit legal barely clean complete nonsense.the only intent on this play was to injure the star player on the opposing team. now the Hawks have a big neon sign on their backs saying give us lots of “clean” hits.or get our guy pudzo to show this video to all the little hockey players out there, when you someone with their head down skate as fast as you can and deliver a nice “clean” hit.Brian Kincade you know very little about hockey. by the way i grew up in canada and played hockey into the minor leagues. so i know a little bit about hockey.

    • Brian Kinkade

      You must not have been very good at hockey, or just not very intelligent about it. Injuries are a side-effect and occupational hazard of playing a physical sport such as hockey. The fact that you didn’t know this makes me question your hockey career and know how. Growing up in Canada doesn’t make you know more about hockey. In case you haven’t noticed, there is hockey in the United States, also, and it’s been going on, professionally since the 1920s. I’ll enlighten you, hockey is a fast sport, things happen. Orpik was NOT trying to hurt Toews. Orpik is a physical player, that’s his role, on the ice. They can’t all be Kanes and Crosbys. Are you sure you played hockey? If you actually did make it to the minors, I consider it a miracle, considering how ignorant and uninformed your comment is.

  • one of the old guys who should

    this is exactly what happens when stanley cup bandwagon jumpers articles my exact feelings brian. have a soda on me.LOL.

    • Brian Kinkade

      It’s just growing pains for the rapidly growing Chicago hockey fan base. It will get better,