Blackhawks, Bad Hits and Bag Skates

From the NY Times Slap Shot blog:

Elliott in The Los Angeles Times
says the N.H.L.’s three-game ban to
the Coyotes Shane Doan for this blindside head check on the Ducks Dan
Sexton (video) “was meant as a warning to fourth-liners and superstars that N.H.L.
justice will be blind. It’s a bold and overdue statement. And it must
become an enduring benchmark that leaves no room for favoritism or
inconsistent reasoning that has eroded the league’s credibility.”

Campbell, the league’s vice president of hockey operations, said in an
email to Elliott that “This is a very difficult call to assess live as we
don’t want the referees guessing. Late and to the head from the blind
side are plays we are attempting to extinguish in the game today.”

The difficulty was apparent when the league rescinded the game
misconduct call last Friday on the Penguins’ Kris Letang, who hit the
Islanders’ Blake Comeau from the blindside, but shoulder to shoulder (video) and on TSN last night, Damien Cox suggested to Gino Reda (video) that the
league should institute video review for blindside hits at rinkside to
determine if the hit was shoulder to head or not.

“This is a
game-changing call, Gino, and I think you want to get this hit out of
the game, but you want to make sure it’s right,” Cox said.

Reda asked why the
league is having problems with this call. Cox answered that the league
is trying to get blindside hits to the head out of the game but not all
hits to the head, which puts uncertainty in the minds of the officials.

“What went wrong is they tried to be half-pregnant. They wanted to get some
of the head shots out of the game but not all of the head shots out of
the game,” Cox said.

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Blackhawks, Bad Hits and Bag Skates.” >>

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