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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: One-minute minors?

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

So, my brilliant wife and I were discussing Brandon Dubinsky’s one-game suspension for a cross-check on Sidney Crosby and everything surrounding it … and somehow a light went off in my head.

OK, it was more like a dim, flickering light bulb, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

Anyway, I’ve heard people discuss a one-minute minor as a workaround for the despised (but maybe necessary?) delay of game penalty for sending a puck out of the rink in your own zone, and I wonder if the one-minute minor could be useful for an even wider aim.

What if obstruction penalties were called more often if you gave zebras the option to hand a lighter interference or holding call out? Maybe they’d feel less self-conscious about when to hand out a penalty or not, and just use their whistles?

That’s not to say that two-minute minors would need to go away; those could still come during those really obvious infractions, and particularly moments in which a breakaway is thwarted yet a penalty shot is, for some reason, not warranted.

Make sense? Maybe?

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Now, I’m not saying that these half-minors would be a balm for everything that ails the game.

To be honest, I’m not convinced that there’s a magic bullet, cure-all solution. The NHL probably needs to take a “holistic” approach to improve scoring.

Still, sometimes there’s an aesthetic benefit to tweaks. It’s one thing to be frustrated by a lack of scoring, but a lack of flow adds insult to the injury of stale, listless games. Would the scoreboard light up if obstruction was respected a little more? Probably not, but it would dial down the obnoxiousness, if you ask me.

One aside from that conversation: it’s interesting that hockey has a culture that empowers defense over offense, at least compared to other sports.

Yes, interference and obstruction-type penalties are regulated selectively in other sports, yet those practices seem to lean toward offense. The NFL might provide the easiest example; offensive holding is only called sporadically while defensive backs are placed under a lot of scrutiny from interference and bump-and-run standards, yet it all largely traces back to opening up the game.

When in doubt, rules should lean toward offense, right? That’s simply not the case in many ways in hockey.


-- You know, it's funny, I was watching a Panthers 5-on-3 power play on Sunday and thought, "Man, does Brian Campbell ever shoot?" and then he ends up scoring the OT GWG.

Granted, it's not as if he's lighting the world on fire; "Soupy" ended a five-game pointless streak and has a modest nine points in 23 games. Still, it's kind of funny how those kernels of thought seem at least a little silly in hindsight.

Speaking of Campbell, it's hard to believe we're in the final season of his oft-cited, oft-maligned contract. That $7.143 million cap hit is finally going to expire, and it should be fascinating to see what happens next for the 36-year-old.

-- It really was a bad afternoon for special teams, though. Florida went 0-for-5 on the PP and Detroit went 0-for-4.

-- Dylan Larkin scored his 10th goal of 2015-16, beefing up his lead for rookie tallies.

The 19-year-old has managed to generate those 10 goals on 64 SOG for a 15.6 shooting percentage.

That's a little high, but not crazy high. With a +14 rating and 18 PIM, he's doing a lot of great things for fantasy owners.

-- Two straight wins for Roberto Luongo, improving his record to 8-8-3 with a nice .924 save percentage.

His opponent Petr Mrazek could use a little more support, maybe. He's just 1-1-3 in his last five starts despite giving up three or two goals in each contest.

Mrazek's record isn't outstanding (6-4-3), but his .932 save percentage implies that he deserves better.

James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.