NHL.com reports that Ian Cole will have a hearing today for his hit on Justin Abdelkader.
"Blues' defenseman Ian Cole faces a disciplinary hearing Sunday for his illegal check to the head penalty on Red Wings' forward Justin Abdelkader in the first period of Saturday's game."Click the jump for more
There seems to be a difference of opinion on whether or not Cole should be suspended for his hit on Abdelkader in the first period of last night's game. Yes Abby was skating with his head down, but Cole had the time to decide if he should or shouldn't finish the check.
That's the grey area in this discussion. Did Cole target Abdelkaders head? And does that even matter knowing he could have avoided making the hit altogether knowing the brunt would be to his face.
Not saying that Cole is a dirty player by any means, but there is a responsibility for players to think about their actions. Case in point last year Nick Lidstrom avoided taking a slap shot on an open net because there was a good chance that his shot would have hit the player diving to block the shot in the face.
Players need to be held accountable for their actions, especially when it can be avoided. Just glad Abby is ok.
Here is the sporting news with player and coach comments.
Cole, who received a two-minute minor penalty for a hit to the head, denied targeting Abdelkader.
"I just stepped up," Cole said, according to NHL.com. "I think he saw me coming at the last second and tried to cut back inside real quick. I had him lined up. I wasn't going to go high. I wasn't going to go for the head. I was just going right for his shoulder. He tried to cut back and avoid, and he put his head right into my shoulder."
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock clearly disagreed.
"I don't like the hit," he said, according to NHL.com. "The hit should (result in) a suspension, for sure."
Abdelkader was taken to the locker room for observation. The Red Wings said he did not suffer a concussion. He eventually scored a goal in the third period to break open an eventual 3-0 Detroit victory.
"Maybe the hockey gods were looking down on me," Abdelkader said, according to NHL.com. "(The hit) is just one of those plays we want to take out of the game. I don't know if he intentionally went after my head. It's one of those bang-bang plays. I’m just glad I could come back and help the team out."
Cole later left the ice after being struck in the face with a puck.
Makes you a bit angry that a player can deny what he did was wrong even if it was an accident.
In watching the slow-mo replay in Shanny's explanation video, it appears that Cole raises his shoulder up (but tucks his elbow in, which is good), which is how Abby gets hit in the head. If he left his shoulder down, he would have hit him square in the chest. Couldn't raising your shoulder like that be construed as intentional?
I'm just glad Abs was okay. I was at this game & when he stumbled & fell after getting back up from the initial hit, I said to my mom "Oh Crap".
Yeah to the suspension, but mainly for the fact that he blatantly lies in his typical, standard plea of innocence. Abby clearly doesn't change his position at all in the replay.
That was one of the scariest hits I've ever seen. To see a player think he's ok, to stumbling over his own feet...............I'm glad that Brendan Shanahan is taking the job seriously. There are just too many concussions happening lately. Not that I'm a fan of Cindy's, but to have a brilliant career cut short...........
I'm wondering if in addition to a fine and a suspension, if penalizing the team more severely would help. If a hit to the head led to a five minute penalty or even a penalty shot (in addition to tossing the player from the game), it might make players think differently about illegal hits during the actual game. A big hit can rally a team in a close game, but if the game is real close a huge penalty definitely hurt the team.
This is a simple issue. If Cole gets himself lower and drives into Abby's chest, then it's a perfectly legal hit. However, his shoulder makes direct and initial contact with the head which is illegal and exactly what the league need to exorcise from the game. Abby definitely should have been skating with his head up, and it is not, in most cases, a dirty play to put a hit on a guy who doesn't see it coming. However, it is the responsibility of the player delivering the check to avoid the opposing player's head, be it up OR down.
Bottom line: shoulder pads need to get ALOT smaller and players need to be re-trained on how to properly deliver body checks with the emphasis on the BODY and not on the head.
People could argue about those who get kronwalled, but to me that is the way people need to learn to hit. The same way I am seeing the wings hit guys, they are:
1. turning to hit with their BACK, where there is less protection than the shoulder. Case in point padding issue but also removes direct hits to the head.
2. hitting vulnerable players with their chest and a bear hug type of hit to protect the other player.
3. bending over and using a hip check.
4. targeting the chest or stomach of the opposing player.
5. timing and thought thus causes easing up and not to hit just cut them off.
There are probably more ways but the players that do this are those who most would not even notice because of the name on the back or style of play. The players I have noticed at some point doing this:
1. this is got to be something everyone should take note of... Bert #44
2. Kronwall #55
3. Stuart #23
4. Lidstrom #5, that is how he is physical he doesnt run through people just closes them off.
5. Abby #8
there are so many more on the team that make these types of plays that does not target to hurt. Only rookies really ever make that mistakes that cause injury to other players... Smith in pre season.
Mister magician is one who lures others into the hit just to level them .... that is also a very good method.
I used Abby because I remember watching one and heard announcers (dont know who it was) replay a big hit of his and said "see he targeted the chest, he dropped his shoulder so he did not hit the head."
Lidstrom is in there as he is true form of perfection and is physical but is not lay out physical. He takes the player out smart and physical enough to pin players to the boards.
Kronwall for his well obvious really. But when he Kronwalls people he has targeted a player with their head down, but he hits to avoid massive injury to the one being hit.
Bert because he is one who people usually associate with being a goon. But in reality he hits with his back and uses the bear hug method often as well. He does not get noticed on those as much as he should.
Stuart is another who is physical and you see him hip check and use his back and the bear hug alot on his hits as well.
I think that this is what needs to be looked at... the wings have something many teams do not seem to have when it comes to player safety. It isn't just having Micky Redmond though that is probably one of the good reasons in the first place.
I like that you add Datsyuk in there, his physical game is very underrated. Most would think he is just a finess guy because of his offensive skills, but true to form Dats is really well rounded in all aspects of the game, most of the times he will enact revenge for himself and other times player underestimate how strong he really is, just watch him finish a few checks, he's very good at it and know how to do it cleanly @Red_Wings-Devilmasta
I'm really sick of these reckless, and intentional, hits. Someone is going to get really seriously hurt. How about this, if we're serious about getting these hits out of the game: If a player is guilty of an illegal hit to the head requiring supplemental discipline, their team forfeits any points gained from the game where the hit occurred. Heck, they could even be awarded to the other team.
i don't like the idea that players who have their head down had it coming or deserve getting hit high. (not that you said that, jordan, but it's a common argument.) it's wise to keep your head up, but head shots are illegal whether a guy's head is up or down.
i really liked what mick said after seeing the replay a couple of times. he said that if the refs saw what they saw (and they may not have) then cole should have been thrown out. and if they did see how bad the hit was and only gave cole a minor penalty, then the NHL isn't really concerned with head shots. i agree with that, but i would say that the league does care about head shots... but mostly on star players. had cole hit toews, ovechkin or malkin, you know full well he would not have played another shift that game.
the NHL does care. they just don't care about everyone. not really. cole will be suspended. there's no way he won't be. but i'm willing to bet the farm that it would be worse if cole had hit a star. what the NHL needs to learn (and it never will as long as they have a lawyer running the league instead of someone who loves the game) is that fans care about all of their team's players.
@Twig Down Goes Brown had a good flow chart for this from the past. Some has changed under the Shan-a-hammer of Justice but still pretty true.http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2009/11/nhl-suspensions.html
I couldn't have said it any better @Twig