Detroit Red Wing Teemu Pulkkinen is the latest recipient of a $2,000 fine by the NHL in the league’s somewhat preemptive stance eliminating diving before it becomes a huge problem. After receiving a warning stemming from a diving incident on October 24 against Vancouver, Pulkkinen was found guilty of this second offense just two weeks afterward. No penalty was called on either play for embellishment or the alleged cause of the fall.
In both cases the dive wasn’t overly dramatic. Looking at it from the ref’s point of view they were bang bang plays and in each instance a stick definitely makes contact. I can understand why there was no call on the ice. From the league’s point of view after watching these a few times there doesn’t seem to be any logical physical force that would cause Pilkkinen to go down the way he did and I understand its decision as well.
I think the league has been fairly reasonable on the subject so far and this latest case is no exception. If they’re going to err on this issue I suppose it’s best to be on the strict side to discourage the more embarrassing instances such as the Dan Carcillo head snap of 2010.
Verdict: The NHL is doing a good job of keeping diving out of the game.