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Hockey Players: Are You Afraid?

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Do fighters make you run and hide? Are you afraid when a no-talent goon steps on the ice?

Inspiring.
Inspiring.
Paul Bereswill

In the comments section of my "Fights don't score goals" article, commenter Kevrock replied:

"...if you don’t think smaller players are intimidated by the meatshields you didn’t play competitive hockey, or you yourself were one."

Kevrock admits to playing competitive hockey and admits to being afraid of larger players. This is either a one-off or a brutally honest look into the minds of competitive hockey players. I've conversed with a significant amount of NCAA, CHL, AHL and NHL players and if they were fearful, they've always suppressed their fears publicly, or at least while they are on the record.

I know that a significant portion of our readership is involved in competitive hockey, so I'm interested in hearing from you. Have you played competitive hockey? Have you run into a "meatshield", a player with no interest in possessing the puck, instead he would rather attempt to injure his opponents? Were you or are you afraid of that player? Were goons on your own team akin to an opiate -- calming you and giving you the confidence to step on the ice without the fear of being injured?