I thought this was interesting coming from coach Greg Puhalski after last night's game as he was talking about the lack of spark in the Komets' play:
``If you feel like that, then you've got to try to change the attitude and mix it up, and we didn't do that,'' Puhalski said. ``Some of our physical players didn't try to help the hockey club by changing momentum, they just went along with flow. They know better. They have to help the team out in those areas. You want to change momentum, you have to do certain things in order to change that.''
Puhalski gets slammed all the time for supposedly not wanting physical, aggressive teams, but he talks all the time about wanting to set the tone at home with physical play. I wonder if sometimes the coach doesn't get too much of the blame for not having physical teams.
Now, before someone accuses me of being soft on Puhalski (which I'm sure he'd laugh at), think about this: How many teams actually do play the old physical style any more? Maybe Danbury, which we haven't seen here yet? (Did you realize that Danbury has 32 majors and the Komets have 28?) Other than that, there's no one that does, even though that's the one thing fans want to see more than anything else. I'd also argue, and there are stats to back it up, that this year's Komets team is more physical than any of the past four or five teams in terms of body checks.
That still doesn't come close to matching the physical intensity of some of the Al Sims' Komets teams of the early 1990s, but the whole sport has become finesse driven. I'd argue that the rules have taken some of the physical play out of the game, even though the best way to combat a finesse team is to take the body.
Ah, the good old days.