Ice Guardians is a documentary about the enforcers in hockey. These refer to players who protect their teammates from the opposing team. Sometimes they need to slam into a player to the keep the puck going from going into their team’s goal. Or in other cases, if a player crosses an unspoken or moral line while playing, they fight on the ice.
Fighting in hockey as in other sports like soccer, baseball, football etc. is as natural as breathing. Yet, while many who watch and enjoy the game know this enforcers still get given the label of brute, goon or something even worse. The players themselves (active and retired) point out do more than fight and skate. They play the game from checking, scoring a goal etc.
Another argument the documentary participants point out is not true – they’re just as brutal on the ice as off it. One primary example given, say drug abuse, depression, alcoholism affects work and leads to headlines the reasons behind it likely have nothing to do with hockey. And for a few players who open up in the documentary this is indeed the case.
Another interesting point came as I listened to medical, behavioral, researchers and others explain CTE in hockey. The causes they explain occur from repeated slams into the wall when a player loses control while skating at high speeds or when he accidentally crashes into another player’s shoulder’s pads. Violent collisions, falls, and other impacts over 90% of the time are the major causes for hockey players developing CTE not fighting on the ice.
Ice Guardians is an interesting and educating documentary that speaks beyond enforcers in hockey but also to similar positions in to other popular sports where they have their own violence and sometimes fighting too.