Photo evidence

Lost in the fun of Clowe-gate 2012 was the fact that some nasty business occurred between the Kings and Sharks during their first meeting of the week just a few days ago. That time it was Kyle Clifford doing the hitting as Couture went face first into the bench. Fast forward two days and it was Mike Richards hitting Couture from behind into the sideboards. Either way, Logan’s face probably hurts.

The real part of this one that mystifies me is how Richards gets off with just a two minute minor. There was literally no judgement call to be made beyond “Hey I can read the nameplate on this guy’s jersey, probably shouldn’t put his teeth into the glass,” but alas, he did it anyways.

Now, I don’t share the same outrage as the commentators on the tape because the answer to “Why do NHLers keep doing this?” is pretty simple. They’re not thinking, and by and large, they don’t care. We can legislate everything in the rulebook to try and make sure that people don’t get hurt, but at the end of the day it’s what happens between the ears of the guys on skates that determines who takes a dirty hit and who doesn’t. What gets done in a boardroom with general managers is window dressing.

Bringing back the red line does nothing to help Logan Couture in that situation. There was no quick decision to be made. Only Mike Richards choosing not to hit him makes a difference, and nine times out of 10 that’s all it boils down to.

Comments (3)

  1. I think if the NHL really (and ofcourse this is always debateable) wants to change the culture of things like that, they need to allow additional punishments (or look to increase the amount of minutes you get for certain penalties). And this could even be temporary (for a few years) until people change their mindset.

  2. I’m not defending this hit at all, it’s clearly a dirty hit that should never have been made, but why doesn’t Couture take a look back just once… he see’s nothing but the crowd. He gets full control just before the hit and just seems to have no interest in taking a peek back? I don’t know if it’s a good thing for NHL players to believe that showing your back protects you from a hit. Couture COULD have looked back and given himself a chance to protect himself but instead keeps his head down and gets drilled… ugly

    • Did he really have time to though? Watch the initial part of that video (the full speed section) again. Couture has the puck for a fraction of a second before he gets hit. In the replays it looks like he has time but full speed he never even got a chance to take a look before Richards drilled him.

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