I was talking with UHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Brad Jones today about a few topics and he gave me some interesting statistics I thought I'd share.
Six weeks into the 2004-05 season there had been 125 high sticking minors, 134 for holding, 134 for hooking and 181 for slashing.
Six weeks into this season -- with 10 more games on the schedule for one more team -- there have been 159 calls for high sticking, 188 holding calls, 340 hooking call and 203 slashing minors.
"This tells me that the standard that we've enforced in regards to restraining fouls is being adhered to by the referees,'' Jones said. "Obviously the biggest area is the hooking, which we expected. We were looking at eliminating clutching and grabbing and that often leads to hooking.''
Jones said there's also been 16 unsportsmanlike conduct calls for diving this season. That has to increase.
I'm of the opinion, the stricter the calls the better. The players will adjust because they'll have to, and we'll have a better game because of it. Force them to move their feet the way the game was designed. For the most part, this year's games have been much more interesting in terms of pace of play and flow of the game.
I expect the Komets will make some adjustments this weekend after coach Greg Puhalski's admonition last week. At least they better make some adjustments before Puhalski has to make some adjustments of his own.
Another interesting number I just found: The winning percentage of Komets' opponents heading into games is .622. No wonder the Komets think they have played the league's toughest schedule. It will get even tougher this weekend.