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Should the NHL suspend Johnny Boychuk for his hit on Jonathan Toews?

As noted on Saturday evening, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun stated that the NHL's Department of Player Safety was taking a look at Dennis McQuaid's hit on Jonathan Toews, which either was a head shot or simply a high but hard hit, depending on your interpretation...

And I'm a little surprised that it's the Hockey News's Ken Campbell who suggests that 1) Boychuk should be suspended and 2) the lack of sound, fury or anger from the Blackhawks about what Campbell believes was a clear intent-to-injure hit that concussed(???) Toews was plain old unconscionable:

[W]ith one double-forearm shiver to Toews’ head, Boychuk might just have changed the complexion of the Stanley Cup final. To be sure, if Toews misses the rest of the final and the Bruins come back to win the series in seven, Boychuk should receive consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy for his second period hit. And as an added bonus, he got away with it, despite the fact Boychuk’s head shot on Toews had Rule 48, Matt Cooke and Raffi Torres written all over it.

The Blackhawks prevailed 3-1 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the series heading to Boston, despite the fact Toews spent the entire third period as a spectator from the Blackhawks bench. If they have to play without Toews, it will be an enormous blow considering all he has accomplished in the past two games. The only thing that would even that out is if the Bruins are without Patrice Bergeron, who appeared to catch a rut in the ice earlier in the game and left to be examined at a Chicago hospital.

But the Bergeron injury was innocuous. The Toews injury was not. This was not Harry Sinden telling Bobby Clarke to go out and slash Valery Kharlamov across the ankles, but it was a reckless, careless, respectless hit that should carry a suspension. But even if the wheel of fortune the league tends to use in these cases lands on ‘Suspension,’ so what? The Blackhawks lose one of their most valuable players and the Bruins lose a No. 4 defenseman. The tradeoff is not even close and the Blackhawks should be livid about it. For a bunch of guys who are supposed to be watching the game as closely as the Hawks and their coach, nobody seemed to see the hit. They were all tying their skates or sucking wind or doing Sudoko puzzles for all we know, but you can bet they will be lobbying for some form of supplementary discipline on Boychuk.

And if Toews could not play in the third period, how could it not be a concussion? Guy gets hit hard in the head, plus guy doesn’t come back to play usually equals concussion, no? And unless either Toews is a very, very quick healer or he and the Blackhawks are willing to risk further scrambling his brain for the sake of a Stanley Cup, it’s difficult to imagine he would be ready for Game 6. And that is a shame.

Campbell continues, and he doesn't "let up."

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Comments

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Suspended for what?

Posted by Garth on 06/23/13 at 09:37 AM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Good hit. Toes has been a bitchy little girl throughout the playoffs. Time to man up.

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, with 3 fingers of rum & a cigar.. on 06/23/13 at 10:04 AM ET

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At first I thought it was a head shot, after review it appears it was all shoulder. I do think his pile drive of Toews’ head after the hit should have been a penalty. But, no supplementary discipline in my view.

Posted by timbits on 06/23/13 at 11:29 AM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

This is getting ridiculous, every time someone makes a big hit the first thing the media does is look to see if it’s legal. This wasn’t even close. He came across the middle turned and got hit in the back with forearms because Boychuk was keeping his elbows in tight not to throw a bad hit.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 06/23/13 at 01:26 PM ET

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It is a big hit until someone gets hurt and cannot play the game he loves ever again, see Marc Savard. Some day someone will die on the ice due to an irresponsible hit and the game will be forever changed. Those who refuse to change ultimately will be changed by outside forces.

Was the Boychuck hit suspendible? Maybe, Maybe it was the Chara elbow to the head in the first period that started the damage and Boychuck finished it off.

It is all about respect and the lack thereof between the players. Boychuck and Chara each had other options that could have effectively neutralized Toews without hitting his head. They know if they knock Toews out their chances improve to win the Cup. Too bad Marc Savard can’t play anymore. I am sure he would love to be playing in game 6 on Monday. So let’s let the boys be boys even if it means every player on the ice can experience a career if not life ending injury. It is all in good fun.

Posted by fjs2842 on 06/23/13 at 05:26 PM ET

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Posted by fjs2842 on 06/23/13 at 06:26 PM ET

Well gee, for someone so worried about the welfare of the players you sure failed to take a stand on the hit, huh?

Posted by Garth on 06/23/13 at 07:38 PM ET

RhymeTimeWingsDings's avatar

FOR GODS SAKE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

Posted by RhymeTimeWingsDings on 06/23/13 at 11:08 PM ET

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Garth,

Perhaps you missed this statement in my post. Boychuck and Chara.

“It is all about respect and the lack thereof between the players. Boychuck and Chara each had other options that could have effectively neutralized Toews without hitting his head.”

They had other options but decided to hit the head.

Posted by fjs2842 on 06/24/13 at 07:39 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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