I wanted to classify some of the kinds of hockey players that "get in the heads of their opponents". These players contribute a lot to the emotional game of hockey. I only have a few classes, but they are well-defined. My examples will mostly come from Eastern Conference teams because I am a Penguins fan, who grew up in Flyers country, and is dating a Sabres fan. Let's begin.
Stars (not necessarily from Dallas)
Stars get in their oppoents' heads by drawing attention and making (or at least threatening to make) clutch plays. Stars are usually skaters, but can be goalies. They are usually easy to pick out because no one will stop talking about them (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Marian Hossa, etc.). They have skill and they end up on Sportscenter.
These guys are just annoying. They don't usually have any particular amazing skill, but they just bug people. They talk smack before faceoffs, they celebrate too much, they do stupid things like jump around in front of goalies, but they don't always do shameful things. They screen well, they nip at guys on breakaways, and they get the crowd excited (either for them or against them). Sean Avery is pretty much a pest (on and off the ice).
They're scary. They're big. They're merciless. If you hear footsteps, it's probably one (or two) of them. If you play the puck near the boards, you'd better get rid of it fast or you're getting hit hard. If you take a cheapshot at a player on their team, they will find you and hurt you. They can make you nervous. They don't say much; They let their hits say it for them. Andrew Peters of the Sabres is an enforcer through and through.
These guys are somewhere between enforcers and pests. They don't hit as hard, but they like to talk a bit. They get into fights, but they don't always win. Either way, they try to pump up the home crowd. They kind of annoy you and kind of scare you. It's not much on either front, but sometimes it's just enough to make you slip up a bit. Daniel Carcillo took this role in game 6 against the Penguins this year:
youtube video of the fight (the fight starts about a minute in, and note the crowd pumping at the end).
These are the classes I have so far. You can only be one out of pest, enforcer, or goon, but you can be a star as well as one of those.
Some Classes of Hockey Players
Posted on: May 28, 2009 10:09 pm