While football is considered a “game of inches,” it often amazes me how fine the line is between a common play and disaster in a game as quick and as powerful as pro hockey. Perhaps no play defines that fine line like this half collision between Anton Volchenkov and Matt Read during last night’s Devils/Flyers game.
The sequence of events begins with Read misplaying a pass coming out of his own zone, which leads to his head being slightly down as he observes where the mishandled puck is off to. Next, you see Volchenkov target Read and get his hands/forearms/elbows up. As you may notice, the only reason Read’s head wasn’t obliterated is because he appears to catch Volchenkov coming just in time, and begins to turtle, for lack of a better term.
As for the hit itself, Volchenkov appeared to leave his feet and target the head, but at the same time, one could argue that it only looks like the head was targeted because Read got low, and Volchenkov may have only left the ice to get over a limbo-ing Read.
It ended up looking like a monstrous hit anyway, but as I stated up top, it amazes me how fine the line is between your average big hit, which this turned out to be, and a collision of epic proportions. Had Volchenkov and Read been just inches this way or that way, the hit could have been absolutely devastating.
Such is the case with the fastest game on earth.
Now here are your morning links:
- Brian Elliot has lost his magical touch (STLtoday.com). Elliot obviously hasn’t been great in these playoffs, but playing across from Jonathan Quick really magnifies it.
- The Kings’ goalie was a “Quick” study (Calgery Herald). Am I the only one who never knew Bill Ranford is the Kings goalie coach?
- Mike Richards recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick for the Kings in the Game 3 win (CBS Sports).
- Once lost, Alexei Ponikarovsky resurfaces with the Devils (Canoe.ca). I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that nobody had Poni as their overtime prediction.
- A tale of two Ilyas in the Devils/Flyers series (Sporting News). Philadelphia’s Ilya “isn’t getting the job done.”
- Another installment of NHL Playoff Beard Watch (Puck Daddy). Jaromir Jagr really has something special going there.
- The Coyotes still control their series against the Predators (Arizona Daily Star).
- The Predators may sit Radulov and Kostitsyn again (The Tennessean). I get the need to send a message and the team-first mentality, but if the Preds sit these guys again, I feel like they’ll be playing with fire, bound to get burned eventually.
- The Capitals are barely losing and hardly winning (The Hockey Writers).
- By now you’ve probably heard that Raffi Torres and the NHLPA are appealing his 25-game suspension (theScore.com).
- Marian Hossa says he’s recovering slowly from Torres’ brutal hit (The Post-Tribune).