I worked at an ice arena for 13 months and, using the lofty expertise I gathered in that time, I can say with certainty that the doors along the perimeter of the ice surface are not supposed to pop open when players hit them. No sir.
Thursday night, however, as the Ottawa Senators took on the San Jose Sharks, that's exactly what happened: the tunnel door (the one through which the players enter) swung open on Jamie McGinn during a routine hit on defenceman Chris Phillips.A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
Now, Jamie McGinn has been known to hit things pretty hard, but if it wasn't clear that this is structural problem at the HP Pavilion, the Sharks' broadcast team reminds us that the door also came ajar the night before, when Brent Burns and Curtis Glencross came together there.
You'd have thought that the door unlatching on such an innocuous collision would be a clue that something needs to be done about it, but clearly the problem remains.
There are two very good reasons why the Pavilion needs to fix it immediately. The first is that it's dangerous -- a player can get seriously injured falling through a poorly reinforced door.
The second: hallway fights.
The most famous instance of a door popping open on a player happened in 1972, when Jim Schoenfeld and Wayne Cashman crashed through the Zamboni entrance at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and proceeded to fight in the freaking hallway, junkyard style.
Classic clip. But one imagines the NHL would prefer incidents like this don't happen, since they make the league look like the WWE.
Thus, while I'm sure some of you would love to see them embrace this by unlatching all the doors and littering the other side with thumbtacks and two-by-fours wrapped in barbed wire, I suspect they'll just tell the HP Pavilion to fix their damn door.