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NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers prospect Philip Broberg has two-goal performance, looking at the goaltending injuries and more

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Zach Laing
6 days ago
Philip Broberg’s return to hockey has been a solid one.
He played in his fourth game last night with the Bakersfield Condors where he put up a two-goal performance. One came on an end-to-end rush on the powerplay and the second saw him clean up a rebound sitting loose in the crease.
It’s great to not only see him healthy back in Bakersfield, but performing as well. What happens with him next?
Of course, the next step would be a recall to the big club. I talked about it in my OIl Spills episode earlier today and broke down some defensive pairings I think could work.

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Goalie injuries

There have been a ton of goalie injuries in the NHL. Seemingly, they’re dropping like flies left and right.
Over at Daily Faceoff, Matt Larkin came up with four theories about what could be causing it, and spoke to some goaltending experts.
THEORY 1: Goalies aren’t getting hurt more often. They’re just playing hurt less often.
THEORY 2: The game has changed, and playing it wears the body down more.
THEORY 3: A faster game inspires new save techniques that are extremely taxing on the body.
THEORY 4: A faster game and new techniques breed new equipment that doesn’t protect the body as well.
The article as a whole is a fascinating read, and here’s the solutions Larkin came up with.
Has hockey simply changed to the point we have to view the goaltender position through a different lens and accept all the elements causing injuries as necessary evils to adapt to the current state of the game?
Maybe. But there’s another school of thought in personal training culture suggesting injuries still should be preventable. We’ve never known more about the human body, right? We’ve never been able to customize our training more. That’s why, using the oft-injured Matt Murray as an example, Valiquette claims there’s no excuse anymore to keep getting soft tissue injuries and that it’s a sign of not taking care of one’s self. Valiquette learned about ice baths to reduce inflammation, for instance, early in his career and estimates he never suffered a soft-tissue injury between 23 and 35.
McLennan saw a remarkable shift in training even during the course of his career.
“I grew up and nobody wore seatbelts and people smoked on planes. Life changes, right? All of a sudden you get to know the body better and you’ve got athletic therapists and trainers that are training you sport-specific,” he said. “Late ’90s, I had a personal trainer and he would always go, ‘When we gettin’ to bench press?’ We’re not doing that anymore. It’s plyometrics and jumps and resistance. They’ve got ropes, they’ve got cables, they’ve got quick-feet drills.”
Knowledge is power, but it’s a double-edged sword for goaltenders today. They have never been better educated on how to take care of their bodies, but they have also never known more about the best techniques and equipment for stopping pucks. And sometimes, the latter two priorities work against our best efforts to keep the body healthy. Face it: being a goalie has never been harder work. The injury reports confirm it.

Cut-resistant material for players

In wake of Evander Kane’s injury, the NHL has raised questions about players wearing cut-resistant material.
While Kane wasn’t wearing Kevlar-infused and cut-resistant material readily available to players, NHL GM’s were shown video of Kane’s injury, and others, as they pondered what to do.
Here’s some of Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s writing about it:
The NHL’s 32 GMs were shown video of not just Kane’s injury, but an even more recent but equally queasy incident at the Karjala Cup in Finland where Finnish player Waltteri Merela had his wrist sliced open.
They were also shown a clip of a player who wore a cut-resistant sock and how it protected him against a major Achilles injury when a skate contacted his leg. Managers were reminded of the four cut-resistant material brands available to teams.
The NHL Players’ Association has always advocated for player freedom of equipment choice. But are we inching closer to a time when the NHL will ask the union to collectively bargain the mandatory use of cut-resistant under garments in exposed areas of the body?
NHL senior EVP of hockey operations Colin Campbell said Tuesday the league is talking about just that.
Remember: The NHL and NHLPA resisted the mandate of visors until the 2013-14 season. Now only a handful of ‘grandfathered’ players still play without one. It was a common-sense change to increase player safety.
The same might be necessary now. From from Clint Malarchuk to Richard Zednik to Ilya Mikheyev to Kane, few other on-ice dangers quite literally bring players to the potential brink of death like skate cuts do. Players are flying around at 25 miles an hour with sharp metal knives attached to their feet.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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