And here's a picture of a man hitting another's face with his shoulders.

And here’s a picture of a man hitting another’s face with his shoulder.

Yesterday the Montreal Canadiens got their bums handed to them in every conceivable way possible. They got shelled on the scoreboard, the got out-shot, they got out-hit (apparently they were credited with two hits through two periods)…they just got wiped (which is nice when you get your bum handed to you), and were likely frustrated from the get-go.

And with frustration comes sketchy behavior. Let’s break the two hits down.

First, Ryan White on Kent Huskins.

The facts:

Kent Huskins is rounding behind his own net with the puck. Ryan White is tracking him, looking to forecheck. More accurately, he’s looking to throw a hit. White has to go around another Philadelphia Flyer, and his route has probably pushed him passed where he needs to be to throw a good hit. He tries anyway, carries on into Huskins, and takes what he can get of him. Which is his head.

My opinion:

He clearly pastes Huskins head with his shoulder, and in fact, he doesn’t touch anything his opponents head. I think it’s reckless over malicious, but still: most players would recognize that they’re beyond the range of safe contact, and opt to throw no-hit over a dangerous one. In fact, that’s the decision the league is trying to get players to make more often. He has an in-person hearing with the league, so I’ll say he gets five games for this hit.

And now, Alex Galchenyuk on Ruslan Fedetenko:

The facts:

Ruslan Fedetenko is in a neutral zone puck battle with Brian Gionta. He’s unaware of anyone else possibly engaging. Alex Galchenyuk is coming back through the neutral zone, when he sees Fedentenko about to win the puck. He disengages from his guy, and comes over to try to hit Fedetenko. He has no reason to believe Fedetenko knows he’s there. He carries on anyway, and hits an unprepared player into the boards.

My opinion:

I think Galchenyuk A) shouldn’t have thrown the hit, and B), made a concerted effort to hit him from the front/side. He almost dips his shoulder under/around Fedetenko so it doesn’t become, or at least doesn’t look like a hit from behind. I’m okay with Philly going at him after this, but I don’t think it’s suspendable or fine-able  Some stuff should get sorted out on the ice, or not at all, and I think his intent was innocent enough.

Your opinion:

In the comments, we’d love to hear if you think this was a malicious play, a hockey play, or something totally different. The caveat: as always with “Court of Public Opinion” posts, you have to honestly list your favourite team (I have no dog in the fight as an Isles guy). That doesn’t mean if you’re a Flyers fan and you think it was vicious and terrible that your opinion will be immediately discounted. I just think it helps with context.

Comments (34)

  1. **Habs Fan**

    The White hit is deplorable. It is the exact shit that needs to be thrown out of the game. Arpon Basu said it best last night when he said “White is a good kid, but has no idea where any sort of line is”. This is likely his last game in a Habs jersey.

    The Galchenyuk hit is the perfect example of the “grey area” that the NHL is trying to figure out. When games move fast, body parts connect where no one intended to and it becomes difficult to discern. Agree with what is written, he deserved to get pushed around, but I really do not see a fine/suspension coming here.

    • Watch all angles of the White hit carefully and you will see that Huskins’ face is actually hit by White’s back. How do you classify that as a reckless or deplorable hit, unfortunate yes….

      • White hit was clearly head shot. No other point of contact no matter part of his own body he hit him with. Not much wrong with Galenchenyuk hit although I do like the response from the Flyers. Gotta stand up for your teammates, clean hit or not, can’t let guys take runs at your teammates.

        • I’m a habs fan but I think the Galchenyuk hit was worse than white’s hit because like RLJMARTIN said if you look at the white hit from all angles (none of the videos posted here) White’s back makes contact with his head. It definitely doesn’t look as dirty when you see it from this angle:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-PQKhOc4s8

          Galchenyuks hit was worse to me because Fedetenko was in a very vulnerable position from the get go and he didn’t hold up at all despite having lots of time to hold back.

  2. Leafs fan. I’d go 5 for White and a game for Galchenyuk. I can see the argument for nothing but I think those hits into the boards are so dangerous we should be tougher on them.

  3. Wild fan here- I have a feeling Shanny will throw the book at White. Head is not just the “principle point of contact,” it’s the only point of contact. Combine that with Huskins getting concussed, White being a role-playing scrub, and an in-person hearing, all adds up to bad news for White. Only thing woulda made it worse would have been hitting a star player like Giroux. Until Shanny steps up and suspends “star” players (Ovie & Taylor Hall come to mind) for dangerous plays, throwing the book at 3rd & 4th liners will continue to be a hypocrisy.

    As for Galchenyuk, I wonder if it’s possible that he put a little exrtra oomph into it in response to Fed taking a pretty heavy whack at Gionta’s arm?

    • Uh, Ovechkin HAS been suspended by Shanahan. Remember last year’s All-Star Game issue? Which actually came over eighteen months past his last disciplinary issue, so the dude’s not really doing too badly for all people like to label him with a dirty reputation. If you want to talk star players who should have been due for a suspension and haven’t gotten one, you should be looking at someone like Evgeni “Slewfoot” Malkin.

      But out of curiosity, do you think Ovechkin has had any hits this season that should have been suspended? I’m pretty sure I don’t recall anything egregious or even particularly borderline. And given the attention paid to his game and all the criticism earlier int he season, I’m pretty sure any questionable hit would have been immediately seized on and discussed to death.

  4. Lightning fan; If you want people to stop doing things, you have to punish them like you want them to stop doing things. Rest of the season for White, 1 game for Galchenyuk.

    • Isles fan. Second your call on White – he’s done for the rest of the regular season. I’m not sure they would bother to give him anything that carried over into the playoffs, though I would like to see him sit at least two of those games as well… hopefully it would make the Habs not bother with the trouble of putting him back on the active roster once he was eligible, and he would be entirely out.

      Galchenyuk’s hit was a tough one. I’m not sure it helps to do anything supplementary to him besides that piddling fine the league can’t exceed. He actually tried to go side-to-side on Tank.

  5. Bruins fan.

    No place in the game for the White hit. His reaction after the hit he knew what he was doing. I will probably think he deserves more than whatever they give him. People who show a lack of respect for the game don’t deserve that paycheck. I know some Bruins can be guilty of this too.

    Galchenyuk wasn’t that bad intent-wise. Fedotenko was off balance. Him being off balance and his proximity to the boards made this look bad. The game is fast, it’s tough to gage someone’s balance. I’m ok with him just getting a boarding call and he has to answer the bell if he’s challenged.

  6. Philly fan

    The White hit will probably be 4 to 5 games because the head was the only point of contact. Maybe he wasn’t deliberately targeting it, but it was equal parts nasty and unnecessary.

    As for Galchenyuk, a minor penalty is the appropriate call. It might have looked a little worse than it actually was because Fedotenko was slightly off balance when hit.

  7. Sens fan.

    Give White 6 games. That takes him until the end of the regular season and likely finishes his season altogether.

    For Galchenyuk, maybe 2 or 3 games? The way the two of them turn just before impact means the hit ends up being “clean”, but this seems like a clear blindside situation. Add in how close it was to the boards and it could have been disastrous.

  8. Habs fan. Trying to ignore my bias, so I have to condemn Galchenyuk strongly. I’m always on about the Sens (as I live in Ottawa) always doing hits from behind (because they do), and I think it gets called far too rarely, and most of the time it is called it’s just 2min for boarding.
    However, this is obviously Galchenyuk’s first incident of this nature, so I’d agree with 67sound and say a game for Galchenyuk. Maybe 2.

    As for White… I dunno, that one I can sort of see what White was doing. He’s always exuberant, which I guess I like, and it looks to me like Huskins pulled up at the very last second, which left him vulnerable, and it was too late a pull up for White to change his motion. However, it does not absolve White of any guilt. I do believe White is also a first time offender, at least in terms of suspensions, so that should lessen things as well. I’d say 3 or 4, I guess?

    As I said, trying to not use my bias, which I am finding more difficult than I would like. Oh well.

  9. Leafs fan

    White’s is unquestionably dirty (unless you’re from HEOTP) and deserves at least 5 or 6 games.

    For Galchenyuk’s I think it looks worse than it really was. 1 game and/or a fine.

  10. Flames Fan
    White hit is exactly what needs to be removed from the game and the Galchenyuk hit is exactly what needs to be allowed.
    I agree that 5 games would be an appropriate over/under for White and that Galchenyuk should be time served so to speak.

  11. Isles fan- I think you are right on this time. White has all the time to figure out another way to go about this play and instead clips his head. There really is no defense for it. I’m with you on five. Galchenyuk makes a clear effort to get in front of the guy which probably saves him a suspension, Still an inappropriate hit on an unsuspecting player but not dirty enough for a ban, me thinks.

  12. Galchenyuk’s hit is to the shoulder in front of the player. He was penalized on the play which is or the correct call but nothing further should come of it. He should have let up – but I don’t know how much more effort you can expect from a guy to make the hit itself clean.

    White’s hit was dirty pure and simple. Its garbage. He’s trying to make a big hit to get his team going and doesn’t let up when he starts to miss. I’d be fine with whatever suspension is coming his way.

  13. Leafs fan.

    I’m with the group.

    White deserves 4-6. He took a pretty good run..

    Galchenyuk skates with his head up and on a swivel next time Philly is on the ice.

  14. IF Chucky gets a suspension, Boston, Philly and Toronto should have half their teams on permanent suspension.

  15. Flyers fan – First hit was dirty. The second hit wasn’t bad. I wasn’t even sure it was a penalty when I first saw it. I thought it looked like Fedotenko tripped over something.

  16. Habs fan.

    I said 4 games when the hit happened, however since it’s an in-person hearing, my gut says it’s 5 or 6.

  17. NYR fan. Disgusted at all the head hits.

    White Hit: Add me to the chorus of people saying that is exactly what the NHL/NHLPA should be trying to get out of the game. 5-6 to games would be the low end, in my book. He should miss playoff games to truly make it “hurt”. And, cmon, that haircut has to be at least worth 2 more games on top.

    Galchenyuk: I wonder, if this was an open ice hit, if we’d even be talking about. I have a feeling Fedotenko’s injury comes largely because of the way he hits the boards from an awkward angle. I do think that is about as “clean” as a dangerous hit can get. But NHL players need to start thinking twice about how they hit people, *especially* near the board. So i like the idea of a short suspension just to get the standard set.

  18. From a Habs fan

    I NEVER liked Ryan White. From the beginning I hated him, the way he loses his cool, and the way he bitches, whines, moans, and complains. If I were Therrien I’d get rid of him as fast as I can blink, because he is cancer, both for this organization and the NHL as a whole. Throwing hits like that, he should be ashamed of himself. I hope they throw the books at him, you know why? Because he’s an inconsiderate fucknut who acts like a loose cannon and needs to get his ducks in a row before someone puts him in the ground. /rant

  19. Rangers Fan

    5 for White. Frankly, he probably deserves more.

    None for Galchenyuk. I really liked Feds when he was on the Rangers, but this hit isn’t that bad. If Galchenyuk actually hit him from the side/behind it would have been a couple games, but he made sure to get him from the front. I’m not a huge fan of the hit, but I don’t think it deserves a suspension.

  20. Caps fan.

    White ought to get 5. Head shot, he had a long time to pull back from the hit, and he went a looooong way to make it. However, he doesn’t explode into the hit, leave his feet or anything like that.

    Galchenyuk ought to, and will, receive no supplemental discipline. In fact, that’s pretty much exactly the play you want your backchecking forward to make when he sees a guy stationary and with the puck in the neutral zone. If he were from Owen Sound or Red Deer, TSN would be going nuts about his character and grit.

  21. More evidence for the need for what you boys discussed on the podcast. Hit the head = automatic 5 games with a review for potentially more. Make it automatic without regard to accident, intent, targeting, etc. Players need to be aware of their actions.

  22. Galenchenyuk had an expectation that Fedetenko was going to fight for the loose puck and if Fedetenko had better balance that would have been just a bump. It appears to be from the side, shoulder to shoulder. I don’t see that as dirty, but I also don’t have a good look at Fedetenko’s positioning (feet) before the hit. Could be a boarding minor. Supplemental discipline not required.

  23. Can’t wait for the leafs to smash these punks in the first round.

  24. Flyers fan
    White’s hit was bad, but not the worst of the season by any means. The fact that he’s looking at 6 games speaks more to the type of player he is (4th line ‘energy’ guy) than the hit itself.
    Galchenyuk was nothing much, I’ve seen Brayden Schenn do worse this year without a suspension.

  25. Habs fan. I was watching this game, the Flyers had already hit Galchenyuk 3 or 4 times without the puck in this game, so I understand his frustration. Doubt he gets any suspension, after getting agitated at and hacked all night.
    5 for White. Awful. He hits like a Bruin.

  26. The White hit should be 5 games minimum. Galchenyuk is similar to what they enforce in college hockey: a five minute major and an ejection. I would like to see the hitting from behind enforced like that more. That hit along the boards is so dangerous. I am an Islanders fan.

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