Pic via@shanessm

Pic via @shanessm

Lars Eller is in some trouble, so we’re hoping for the best for him tonight. There’s a good amount of blood, so don’t watch if you’re squeamish.

Not a great play by Diaz, but a pretty typical play gone wrong. Eller is expecting Gryba to be backing off, Gryba sees a chance to nip a play in the bud before it gets started. Eller is out before he hits the ice.

Our resident doc’s thoughts:


(S/t @felixpotvin)


I’ll update with relevant tweets as they come up:

Tweet from a Florida Panthers d-man:

If you’d like to see the AP pictures of Eller – again – proceed with caution.

Comments (45)

  1. Soooo when I was a defenseman, my coach would bench me for making a pass like that, up the middle hanging my forward out to dry. He had plenty of room to skate that up more and wait for the better outlet option

    • Looks like it was a good hit, most of the damage was done when Ellars face hit the ice. Got to blame your teammate for setting you up for the trolley tracks hit.

    • When I was a defenseman my coach would of benched me for not making that hit.

    • Both your *coaches* should be benched. We need to change the mindset that people in vulnerable positions should be hit. So it should be perfectly acceptable for diaz to send a pass to the middle of the ice, for Eller to be looking behind him to accept the pass, and for Gryba to back off and not throw a hit. Yes yes I know…”changing the game”…”go watch golf” blahblahblah. The responsibility for not hitting a vulnerable player should be on the player throwing the hit, not the player getting the pass or the player making the pass.

      • So no hitting at all then right? Just come out and say it.

      • So no hitting at the blue line? Guess it will just turn into a breakaway competition. I hate seeing anyone get hurt but what needs to be done is stopping the D-men from putting their forwards in that position. Why not bank off the boards, let Eller get some speed and have an odd man rush/breakaway instead of putting him in the line of fire?

  2. Did he nose just explode there?

  3. no suspension i hope, Gryba did not try to go for the head. to me he hits him shoulder to chest. Eller does all the damage landing face first on the ice, hopefully he’ll be ok.

  4. Maybe they should start giving the guys that make those passes a game or two. Absolutely brutal sui. As far as the hit it was more bad judgement and timing than any real intent to injure.

    • Can we please stop blaming DIAZ? He was just making a pass… why don’t you look at Suban????

      • Diaz is getting blamed because it was a suicide pass. Plain and simple.

        I’m 50/50 on this. Diaz’s pass was brutal and made Eller vulnerable. Yet, if you listen to league talk, Gryba took advantage of that vulnerability and made direct contact with the head, whether he meant to or not. Isn’t that rule 48?

        • Yes and no to rule 48, but it depends on the amount of hip and body contact as well, so they’re going to have to see which comes first or if it’s simultaneous contact.

        • I dunno, I would say that’s full body contact. Probably some whiplash involved, but when you see it straight on, most of his torso is hit and there is some incidental contact to the head. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that (except the result). I’m guessing that whiplash is what conked him out and that’s why he fell and why he bled. if he hadn’t have fell on his face and further injured himself, that would have been 2 minutes at most, if anything at all.

  5. wasn’t it pretty much shoulder to face/chin as first point of contact – I though that was verboten?…i can ‘t see it form this video but CBC showed an angle that looked like the head was first point of contact. I just hope Eller is ok,; He was having such a great finish to the year on that line….

  6. Terrible result, but that’s not dirty. Maybe a 2 minute penalty, but not a major – terrible pass.

  7. That was really hard to watch. I’m still sitting here trying to understand it. Everything just went horribly wrong all at once. Not sure who to blame but I know I don’t care right now. The only thing I’ve ever seen like that injury-wise that I can think of is the Tollefsen hit on Lubos Bartecko in the 2010 Olympics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olk7fczTQ70). Just the way that they get even further injured by slamming their head/face on the ice after the hit (Bartecko’s helmet falls off before he hits the ice. Eller landed on his face). Intent-wise they are nothing alike but that’s what it reminded me of. Like all of us I just hope he makes it out okay. I think I might just switch to a full shield next season.

  8. Definitely a suicide pass, but part of me also thinks that maybe Gryba also could’ve let up a bit seeing what was about to unfold (and I don’t believe he was oblivious to the fact that he had a guy lined up who was in a very poor situation). Not dirty, but in my eyes a lack of respect for a fellow player to some extent.

    • If he let’s up like that, he gets shit from his coach/team/fans/etc. It’s hockey, and it’s the playoffs. Not saying that’s right or wrong, just the way it is.

      • Right. And “the way that it is” needs to change. Poor Gryba…so few options…he can (1) throw a huge hit on a defenseless and vulnerable player, (2) not do that, and, oh, i dont know, fall back and play normal defense like he would 99% of the time when there’s a player getting a pass at the player’s own blue line. The shame in facing his teammates and coaches and fans and family if he did what people do 99% of the time.

    • Exactly. See my earlier comment about changing the mindset that “big hits” that leads to Gryba throwing that hit….

  9. Habs fan here, was at the game.

    Suicide pass : yes.

    The question of dirtiness/suspendable hit is this : where is the main point impact ? If it’s shoulder to chest or shoulder, no suspension. If it’s head, then it’s at least a couple of games. I can’t decide on the main point of impact with the videos I saw, but the league will review all angles and decide.

    Gryba’s intent, the subsequent injuries Eller suffered when his face hit the ice or the fact that the pass was dangerous shouldn’t matter much in the decision.

  10. Man this one is tough. Can we just settle on “What the fuck, Diaz!”?

  11. Definitely think this should have your court of public opinion rules attached. I am a Bruins fan. But if the lockout taught me anything I’m a fan of hockey first. I think Eller’s a quick and skilled player. Someone that I enjoy watching play. I obviously hope he’s ok. That being said, I didn’t hate the hit. If you’re Gryba it’s tough to not hit him there. You’re the road playoff team (in Montreal, no less…which is a compliment Habs fans) and just gave up a goal. If you can lay a big hit you feel like you can stop the home teams momentum, I get it. There are some unspoken etiquette rules on the ice. I feel like this should’ve been a play where Gryba is saying “heads up” before he’s hitting him. I know Kronwall does this sometimes. The point is to separate the player from the puck not kill the guy. Would be interested to know if he did this at all. The other thing that I wonder about its how much of Eller’s injury is due to how he landed. There are some downsides to the half shield (I think the positives outweigh the negatives for the record). But that could explain some of the blood.

    • “here are some unspoken etiquette rules on the ice. I feel like this should’ve been a play where Gryba is saying “heads up” before he’s hitting him. I know Kronwall does this sometimes. The point is to separate the player from the puck not kill the guy.”

      If Gryba needs to warn Eller that he’s about to get squashed, that’s pretty good evidence that Gryba knows its a dangerous situation against a defenseless and vulnerable player. People shouldnt throw hits against defenseless and vulnerable players. If Eller was against the boards with his back to the play, should Gryba give him a heads up before crosschecking him into the boards?

      • It’s a contact sport, Gryba is trying to make a solid body check. He’s not trying to injure him. A man with the puck or about to receive the puck know’s he’s eligible for contact. The “heads up” is to allow him to know where the opponent is and brace for the contact. Eller’s shoulders are facing the boards with his head turned back into the defensive zone following the puck with his eyes. He is eligible to be hit from his other side even if he doesn’t know how close the person is.

        “If Eller was against the boards with his back to the play, should Gryba give him a heads up before crosschecking him into the boards?” …cross checking is a penalty, so is hitting from behind, so in this situation he shouldn’t be hitting him at all.

      • What a wonderful and well thought out counter example you use. Yes, a legal open ice hit is totally comparable to a clearly illegal cross check or hit from behind. Yep, definitely the same thing.

        Do you want to try that again? You obviously don’t like hitting in hockey, just say it. You keep dancing around it.

  12. Panthers fan here. WTF is Strachan thinking with that tweet? Like you never make make any effing mistakes, guy. I understand your friend got hurt and you’re upset, but calling for someone to attack his teammate doesn’t do anyone any good.

    Are you like that in the room, too? If one of your guys screws up and someone gets hurt, do you root for the other team to take him out? No wonder the Panthers are a disaster.

  13. A fan of a team not in the playoffs here. My only bone to pick with the hit was that it wasn’t a flush body check, more like a glancing blow, which for some reason seems to hurt the head more than anything if head contact is involved.

    If you’re the NHL, it’s hard to not suspend for this hit, I think. Even if it’s just for the outcome more than anything.

  14. Wings fan here. Just a terrible situation all around. Gryba cant pull off of that hit. Eller has to catch it. Diaz though, jeez, take another step man. Sure Eller is open- but curling at the blueline is a nightmare sometimes when you’re not trying to catch a puck.

    I thought the hit was clean and legal. There’s nothing Gryba could have done to make it cleaner except to avoid contact all together.

  15. Watch more replays this morning. I’m with MikeK on this one. He mostly misses the shoulders and main impact is to the head.
    Look at the first 2 pictures above. Eller’s head is thrown rightward, we see the back of his helmet in the second pictures, while his shoulders haven’t moved much. If Gryba is a couple inches to the right he hits him hard to the body and would have been legal. Now I say 2-game suspension.

  16. The fact that this wasn’t a court of public opinion indicates this is not a suspendable hit and isn’t even worth the discussion over suspension. I’m still pissed about the 5 minute interference call, not a Sens fan… but how the hell does that clean hit deserve 5 minutes, and calling it interference in downright creative!
    Diaz is most deserving of a suspension for that suicide lay out, Ottawa was already given a BS major penalty in a playoff game so any further action is wrong. Unless you like the Habs.

  17. The interference call was total BS. If the Sens had lost the game due to that momentum swing, you’d have a lot of cheesed Ottawa fans on here complaining about a ghost call.
    I get it. The refs wanted to make a call, because of the result if nothing else. But everyone has gone over and over this hit, and there’s nothing very dirty about it. Just an unfortunate case of a hockey play gone wrong.
    I look at his head snapping back like that and I can’t help but think it was because Eller did not see that hit coming, his neck muscles were too relaxed so the hit caused whiplash more than anything else and snapped it back.
    In the mean time, you just hope the League takes time to go over the hit and that, most importantly, Eller is okay.

  18. I’ve never been knocked out by contact solely to my shoulder. The picking over the tape like a corpse after every one of these incidents to see if there’s a possibility that it was “all head” is ridiculous.

    Either you take the hits to the head seriously or you don’t. For sure his head hitting the ice makes the rest of it crazy. Gryba isn’t a monster. You do the crime you do the time. Move on.

  19. blah blah blah, no he will not be suspended.

  20. Why is it called a suicide pass if Diaz is taking all the blame for making it? Shouldn’t it be a homicide pass? A manslaughter pass?

    I don’t know that Diaz deserves all the blame – sure, he makes the “suicide” pass, but passing is a two person game, and forwards have to put themselves in open, and hopefully moving, position to receive a pass as well. Eller is too high and obviously not paying attention to the neutral zone, and he’s looking back for the pass. Maybe Diaz should have seen the whole thing unfolding, but he’s also trying to move the puck quickly and there is a guy up there with his stick out calling for a pass, looking to take advantage on a maybe too-high breakout.

    I don’t much blame Gryba for making the obvious play there as well.

  21. Looks like everybody looks the wrong way. Comparing this to the Subban/Neil hit, Subban steps out of position, makes a hit when Neil is looking forward and moving forward, full body contact doesn’t even scratch the head. Now that’s a clean hit. Here’s what happens on the Gryba/Eller hit : Gryba steps out of position, so the hit is deliberate. Not only does he make a hit when Eller is looking BEHIND to receive the pass, instead of making a clean body hit like Subban, Gryba moves to the side and hits Eller’s face (and ONLY his face). The only damage Eller got from hitting the ice face first is the fractured nose and a worsened concussion, he was already limp before falling meaning the brunt of the damage was from the hit, in fact its because he was already out from the hit that he couldn’t twist himself or cushion his fall.

    Yes the pass was dangerous. Yes Gryba didn’t hit Eller properly to punish the pass. Result : suspension.

  22. I’ve read and listen to a lot of comments on this hit and I honestly think that many people are trying to complicate the situation.
    Yes the pass by pass by Diaz put Lars Eller in a dangerous situation
    Yes Lars Eller, for his own security, should have paid more attention to other players around him…
    BUT Gryba is the one making the it, he is the one that has the better visibility to the fact the Lars Eller is VULNERABLE, and he is the one hitting SHOULDER TO HEAD.
    I’m not against hitting in the hockey game, I’m totally PRO of hard and clean body check, but TOTALLY AGAINST hitting to the head. No matter if the hit is done with the stick, albow, shoulder, etc. HITTING TO THE HEAD shouldn’t be part of the hockey game.
    In the situatuation of Grybe vs Eller, a very great hockey play would have been Gryba hitting Eller shoulder to shoulder, or body to body. With the speed of both player Eller would have stop instantly and fall back like hitting a wall. This would have been a SPECTACULAR, CLEAN and SAFE play!

  23. Not a fan of either team but am of hockey. If we have to analize every last nano second of the hit in slow motion to determine point of contact imagine real life speed. Hard to say where intial contact was made. Unfortunate that he was injured. I enjoy hitting & fighting in hockey. These kids are mulit millionaires before they are 25… there has to be some sort of disclaimer to the game, its fast, its hard hitting, its exciting. I wouldnt want it any other way. Unfortunately things like this do happen and will contine to happen. Kids are getting bigger, faster, stronger. If you dont like it get a 9-5 job like myself and work for 50 or 60 years of your life instead. Blame it on who you want… we pay the money & these kids will do whatever it takes to make it. Maybe its DIaz’s fault… maybe its Gryba’s… maybe its ours

  24. People who call this a ‘clean hit’ need to have their head checked and really consider some reasonable thinking. There is absolutely no reason for Eller to be physically contacted from his neck or higher by Gryba in this case. Gryba meant to lay Eller out instead of hitting him square in the body (like a typical Subban hit, ask Brad Marchand or Chris Neil). Diaz should know better and must feel like crap. That being said, how can Gryba sleep at night knowing he may have ended a player’s career? In the end, all that matters is if Eller recovers. BTW, where is Marc Savard right now? People…seriously…smarten up.

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