In last night’s game between the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs, a questionable hit by Joffrey Lupul on Victor Hedman occurred.
And that’s as much as I can make a sentence sound like Brendan Shanahan without using the exact words he uses.
Let’s talk it out.
Sami Salo has the puck in the neutral zone, and moves it D-to-D to his partner, Victor Hedman. Hedman gets his feet heading up ice intending to gain the red line and make a play. Lupul is on the neutral zone forecheck, playing the role of F1, meaning he will mirror the puck D-to-D, and try to pressure Hedman before he can dump the puck in. As Hedman gains the line, he sees he has teammate Steven Stamkos cutting across the blueline, and decides to give him a bank pass off the near boards with his backhand, which he successfully completes. Lupul carries on to finish his check, and while Hedman may or may not be aware contact is coming, he’s starting to lean away. Lupul extends himself up-and-in to Hedman, making the head the principle point of contact. Hedman stayed down after the play, but there’s no word on his injury just yet.
Update: Corey Perry has been suspended for four games:
Our breakdown of the play below.
I’m pretty sure this is one of the rare “Court of Public Opinion” posts that doesn’t ask “if” there should be a suspension, but rather “how many games.” Let’s take a look at it.
Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild picked up the puck along the boards at the top of the right circle in the offensive zone. After a short touch, he tries to run a bank pass off the boards up to his right defenseman. Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks was skating in to defend Zucker when he saw him about to gain possession of the puck. After Zucker moves the puck, he briefly looks back to see how the pass turns out, then starts to turn his head around to continue his path (likely to the net, if the pass was completed). Perry continues in a straight line towards Zucker with the intent to hit him, even after the puck has been released. He braces for contact, and comes up and into the hit. He hits Zucker in the head, who goes into the boards, and stays down for an extended period.
I think part of the reason the hit looks (not just looks, also “was”) so bad is that Perry stops looking at Zucker’s location to brace for the impact early. That doesn’t make it okay, but it makes him lose track of body position, and that lack of control was part of the problem. More importantly, the hit was still a step late and on a defenceless player. Contact to the head was made. With Perry’s prior suspension (four games for an elbow on Claude Giroux in 2009), and the fact that Jason Zucker seemed to be concussed, I suspect he’s in trouble here. I think he deserves four or five games, and I think that’s what he’ll get.
(Update: Something I originally missed – you’re only deemed a “repeat offender” if a second incident occurs within eighteen months of the first incident. Therefore, Perry will be judged as a “first time” offender.)
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 Wild fan and you think it was vicious and terrible that your opinion will be immediately discounted. I just think it helps with context.
Ultimately, most of today will centre around Taylor Hall talk. How dirty is Taylor Hall? How many games suspension will Taylor Hall get? I’m not too sure on the first, since I don’t know Taylor Hall. The only thing I know for sure about Taylor Hall is that he bears a striking resemblance to the stoner that worked electronics the summer I worked in the warehouse of a large Canadian retail chain. I don’t think that on those qualifications that I know enough about Hall to discuss his personality or intentions with regard to his hit on Cal Clutterbuck Thursday night:
From what I can tell, last night’s incident between Jannik Hansen and Marian Hossa is one of the more polarizing we’ve seen this year. Hell, I couldn’t find a video that wasn’t labelled “CHEAP SHOT” or contained commentary explaining why it was totally clean or had the Blackhawks announcers immediately villifying Hansen. Point is, make up your own mind here.
The puck came out into the neutral zone area towards Hansen and Hossa, the latter having body position. Because of that, Hansen jumps a little and reaches up to snare the puck from behind Hossa. In the process – either intentionally or unintentionally, Hossa takes a rap off the back off the dome, and finds himself face down. He left the game, and wouldn’t return. No word on his injury as of yet. Hansen has a clean history, but apparently this play will be looked at by the league.
It’s too tough to say whether Hansen meant to or didn’t, so the League will find it impossible to suspend Hansen. I think they’ll fine him for a reckless play, which I’m not even sure it was (if he was in fact innocent in his intentions, it’s more unfortunate than reckless), but I think they’ll want to appease the Blackhawks who are none-too-pleased about it.
In the comments, we’d love to hear if you think this was a malicious play, or just a hockey play. The caveat: you have to honestly list your favourite team (I have no dog in the fight as an Isles guy, but I’m from British Columbia, so do with that what you will). That doesn’t mean if you’re a Blackhawks fan and you think it was an intentional head shot that your opinion will be immediately discounted. I just think we’ll get a pretty good idea just how down the line this one is.
Today the news came down that Mikhail Grabovski will not be suspended for allegedly biting Max Pacioretty.
My thoughts on this are very complex:
Kay. …I’m good with that.
I’m not exactly sure why Grabovski biting Pacioretty brought about such a whirlwind of disagreement (you shouldn’t bite people – no s*** – vs. you shouldn’t put parts of your body in or on angry people’s mouths – no s***) when, from what I can tell, the facts are pretty clear:
A) Mikhail Grabovski bit Max Pacioretty
B) The league doesn’t care
Again, I’m fine with this arrangement.
This tweet from Darren Dreger makes me laugh:
The evidence didn’t support supplemental discipline for Grabo, but the safety dept says it went to great lengths in search of the truth.
Mostly because of the terminology “it went to great lengths in search of the truth,” but mostly because BULL****. I mean: Player A wraps his arm around mouth of Player B, who makes a biting motion, Player A immediately reacts saying he got bit, because he got bit, for gosh sakes. Innocent until proven guilty or whatever, but I figure innocent until Let’s Not Play Dumb is fair too. Read the rest of this entry »
Okay this picture makes Schenn look a bit villainous.
Those of you who have long-ish hockey memories may recall that back in May of 2012, Anton Volchenkov absolutely wrecked Brayden Schenn during his rookie season behind the net. I didn’t remember the hit until today when it suddenly occurred to me, “Hey, maybe the car accident of a hit from last night had a little deeper meaning to it.”
Here’s Volchenkov on Schenn less than a year ago:
Volchenkov throws thunderous body checks with consistency, and doesn’t seem like a guy you’d get on a tee for revenge too often. So last night, when Brayden Schenn hopped on the ice and saw Volchenkov digging the puck off the wall on his backhand side, you can’t fault him for licking his chops. Read the rest of this entry »