I watched last night’s 6-4 win by the Edmonton Oilers over the Colorado Avalanche, a sloppy and random game that saw a few weak goals at both ends of the ice and a third period come back by the home team. It was also the occasion of a rather nasty hit by Colorado’s Ryan Wilson on Oilers’ captain Ethan Moreau. Here’s the video.

At first there was some question about whether it was the elbow or the shoulder that made contact with Moreau’s head, but whatever the technical ambiguities I thought one thing was perfectly clear: Wilson got the elbow out, and he aimed for Moreau’s head. This image seems fairly conclusive that it was the shoulder and not the elbow that made contact.

Should this be a legal play? Does the shoulder make it so or does the fact that Wilson got his elbow up and seemed to deliberately target Moreau’s head factor in?

Oilers’ fan Bruce McCurdy identified it as a turning point in the game, while Edmonton Journal blogger David Staples called it thuggery. Meanwhile, SBN’s Colorado Avalanche site chose to skip the hit entirely, instead focusing on what David Driscoll-Carignan called “cheap-shotting” by Oilers’ players. What does everyone else think?