"The main thing, I think, was that for years I had been talking to hockey players in military terms telling them what real soldiers were like, how much they would do for their team, how much they'd give, and how brave they had to be to survive."- Conn Smythe commenting about deciding to join the military and fight in World War Two with the Maple Leaf players he encouraged to enlist.
Throughout the history of hockey the battles on the ice have been compared to military confrontations. As Conn Smythe's quote indicates, management often used the conditions facing a soldier fighting in a conflict between countries to motive their warriors on skates.
I came across a couple of newspaper photographs this week, which could easily be used as an example of a game situation being compared to a military procedure or manoeuvre.
A WOUNDED SOLDIER
A concerned Colonel stands over one of his wounded soldiers as the rest of the regiment forms a human wall to protect from a further invasion.
BUILDING A LINE OF DEFENCE
With the opposition outnumbered, the defence adapted a formation to protect their territory from being penetrated. Enough soldiers were back to handle the lone shooter and his comrade on the right flank.