The NHL: Weak Shoves, Hugs, & Dancing

DC Sports Nexus ---- Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I have noticed around the league, especially in the playoffs, that in the NHL after a goalie covers the puck on a good save, or after certain stoppages of play, the players start to weakly shove each other.  I watched all season and didn’t really make much of it, but for some reason it is hitting me now.

The other night a player on the Bruins kind of gave Holtby a few sticks to the glove after a save and people were upset that Ovechkin didn’t “at least shove the guy” as he skated right by him.  Instead another Capitals player came down the ice from the blue line to get in his face and give him a weak shove.

I guess the idea of the weak shove is to show the other team that you are not going to take their BS.  So that next time they do something wrong, that weak shove will turn into a punch.  However it seems more often than not that weak shove turns into more weak shoves.

Sometimes the weak shove does end up escalating.  However when this happens it usually turns into hugs and dancing.  At this point the referees feel left out and they want some hugs too.  So they skate in there throwing some weak shoves and hoping for some hugs.  Often times they just dance until neither guy can stand anymore and they collapse to the ground. 

Ok Ok…in the regular season people do knock each other’s teeth out on occasion.  But it takes several weak shoves and hugs to get to that point.  And in the Playoffs it appears that this “fighting” is not allowed and that has caused weak shoves to grow to epic proportions, happening any time the whistle is blown.  The refs aren’t even allowing dancing!  

What is this the tiny town from Footloose!  Come On!

I can’t really imagine the weak shove going over in any other sport.  In the NBA they don’t even let you give wet willies!  (if that video is pulled you can watch Delonte West give another guy a wet willie during a game here)

In baseball you can’t even touch the other player ever (unless you are trying to paralyze his legs with a slide to second or kill him with a dive at home). 

The NFL is the only other sport that doesn’t mind the weak shove.  But as soon as that weak shove turns into a strong shove, flags fly like it is the 4th of July.  There is no dancing in the NFL either.  Damn you Bomont!

So that is what I have seen.  Can someone please explain to me in more depth why the NHL allows the weak shove, the dancing, and the hugging?  

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