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Video- Chris Neil Hit On Brian Boyle

No penalty on the play but some of the “web talk” called it a dirty hit.

In my opinion, it may have been a little late, but holding off until a better view becomes available.

added 10:59pm, Embedded a better look at the hit video, put the original video below…

added 10:38pm, via an Elliotte Friedman tweet,

We looked at Neil hit for lateness, was .25 seconds after puck. NHL standard is .5. League will have to determine if head shot

added 11:17pm, Tortorella post-game on the hit, scroll to the :30 second mark in the 2nd video below…

added 1:59am 4/22/12, a 3rd video added below, the MSG feed.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boyle, chris+neil



Looked late live and even more in review.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/22/12 at 12:28 AM ET

DocF's avatar

Neither late nor high.  That was a good hit.  Boyle may have a concussion, but his head hit the ice and that is likely the cause.  He got Kronwalled.


Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 04/22/12 at 02:13 AM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

I’m biased here, but I don’t think it was late or high. The view from the HNIC feed shows a pretty definitive angle.

If he’s concussed, it’s likely from his head whipping back with the impact. I don’t think he hit his head on the ice hard.

Tortorella comparing this hit to Torres is a big stretch.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 04/22/12 at 02:22 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

Definitely not late.

Probably not targeting the head, though that will ultimately depend on which way the wind is blowing when Shanny makes the decision, since Neil did seem to hit the head and the shoulder area pretty much simultaneously.

Left skate (the one furthest from Boyle) was off the ice at the moment of impact, but his right one probably wasn’t, or was just barely off the ice.

Prediction: since it was Neil, Shannahan will probably sit him, particularly as Boyle is going to miss the next game.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 04/22/12 at 02:35 AM ET


Tortorella needs to shut up. This hit is not high or late. It’s not a charge based on jumping. It’s not a charge based on strides. It’s not interference. And it’s not a headshot. Shoulder right to the chest/arm. If he wants to see a headshot, he should look at that “clean hit” his boy put on Alfredsson and quit pointing fingers at everybody else.

Posted by larry from pitt on 04/22/12 at 03:09 AM ET


He got Kronwalled.


Posted by DocF on 04/22/12 at 12:13 AM ET

Funny. Didn’t see Neil hiding between a referees legs in any of these videos. Is there some other meaning for Kronwalled?

Posted by larry from pitt on 04/22/12 at 03:11 AM ET


Just watched this hit both at regular speed and slo-mo from the TSN SportsCentre replay.  The first one, a nice close up (neither on the YouTube from CBC or NBC) showed that Neil’s shoulder hit Boyle’s head before his shoulder.  Worse, Boyle never flinched, moved, or reacted to an upcoming hit before being struck - he was completely vulnerable and had no idea the check was coming.  We can argue the merits of this (his not seeing the hit), but it is the kind of check that the league needs to get rid of, and that minor leagues such as the OHL would be tossing people for multiple games over.

Posted by Nik from Ottawa on 04/22/12 at 03:14 AM ET


One last note - it was the MSG feed…on TSN HD it is much easier to see the hit then here, but it’s a start…

Posted by Nik from Ottawa on 04/22/12 at 03:26 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Added another video, sorry for being late with it, fell asleep.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/22/12 at 04:02 AM ET

Steve J's avatar

One last note - it was the MSG feed…on TSN HD it is much easier to see the hit then here, but it’s a start…

Replaying that over and over from the :20 second mark, I’d say the head is definitely the primary point of contact. The first part of Boyle to move after the hit is his head and helmet. Late hit? Probably not. To the head and an unsuspecting vulnerable player? Yes.

Posted by Steve J from Columbia, MO on 04/22/12 at 11:25 AM ET


He tracked him from the other side of the ice.  He targeted the head.  He intended to lay Boyle out.  Ottawa has targeted him all series.  The only plus in his favor is he did not leave his feet. 

If you think this was just a random hit , you just missed the Easter Bunny.

Posted by 13 user names on 04/22/12 at 11:34 AM ET


Just imagine if the NHL ran the other sports.  Pitchers could throw at batters heads to “send a message”  Quarterbacks would have a lifespan of about 3 games.  Basketball players could be hit from behind, have their eyes covered by an opponent when they try to shoot etc. 

Why does the NHL always have to look like a gang fight compared to other sports?  Detroit was the model for great clean hardnosed hockey.  Now we are back to the wrestling model.

Posted by 13 user names on 04/22/12 at 11:39 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

That hit is definitely not late. 

Boyle skated into the trolley tracks here. You don’t skate into that are of the ice and pretend that you’re not going to get hit for going there. While Neil does make significant contact with the head, it also happens because he has his head down and in front of him (as a result of taking that shot a half-second prior, of course). Neil is on a line to hit through the center of Boyle’s mass.  Neil also doesn’t lift through this contact.

I see this as a case of Boyle retaining some responsibility to not put himself in a vulnerable position. There is not a good reason for Boyle to not know Neil is there, considering he turns directly into Neil’s path.

I want NHL players to be able to make a solid check on a guy as he cuts through the middle of the ice. This is not charging, it is not interference, and based on how early Neil was on the path to hit Boyle and that he didn’t lift through contact, I don’t believe this is a cut-and-dry case of targeting the head considering where Boyle’s head was in relation to his body at contact.

The rule about headshots specifically mentions the concept of whether head contact was avoidable on an otherwise clean body check. I think that the two ways of asking Neil to avoid this contact (don’t make the hit in the first place or aim elsewhere) do not make sense. Neil changing his point of aim opens a wide variety of possibilities which range from putting himself in danger in case the 6’7” Boyle straightens up unexpectedly, to completely missing the body check and accidentally going knee-on-knee.

If there’s somebody to be angry with, it’s the Rangers for letting Boyle take those three shifts with a concussion. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the NHL release a statement on this hit just because it’s another playoff concussion and everybody’s (rightfully) touchy right now, but I would be surprised to see supplemental discipline come out of this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/22/12 at 12:14 PM ET


JJ, I agree with you - the hit wasn’t late, and we can’t take the physicality of the game out. However, with this hit, it is a hit to the head (the still is a good showing of that), but also look at the angle Neil is coming from. He had him lined up in the trolly AND was in Boyle’s blind spot - the only way Boyle knows that Neil is coming is if someone yells at him (I remember I used to hear more of this at the rink before we got tough on head shots). A blind side head shot is one I believe is suspendable. You wanna Boyle? Then it should have been from the front.  No room for that type of hit in hockey (just as I said about Wolski’s hit on Alfie at the beginning of the year, which is similar in that Alfie and Boyle never saw it coming. Only difference is Neil meant to hit Boyle, and Wolski never meant to hit Alfir.

Posted by Nik from Ottawa on 04/22/12 at 12:41 PM ET

Paul's avatar

NHL says no action against Neil.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/22/12 at 02:26 PM ET


Perhaps people should take a look at Romes hit on horton in last years finals, game 3. similar play of a player crossing the blue line, chipping the puck in and then being blindsinded. if memory serves me correctly romes was suspended for the rest of the finals, and rome was actually in front of horton so he at least had an idea he was there, Boyle had a senator in front of him and behind him, a perfect predatory situation for neil, as he seen boyle had no way out. Neil might not be officially a repeat offender but just look a hit against a toronto forward who didnt have the puck back in september.

Posted by jespo from meriden ct on 04/22/12 at 02:45 PM ET


Just how does Hagelin get 3 and Neil gets zero?  It’s like Hagelin was a shoplifter and Neil a bankrobber.  But the punishment is reversed.  Consistency is sorely lacking in the leagues disciplinary system and it starts with (all four of us didn’t see it) the on ice officials. 

They are so afraid to call something and influence the outcome of the game that they don’t call anything and influence the outcome of a series. 

Aren’t the Officials in control of the game?  It rarely looks like it in the NHL.  Things escalate because these guys don’t have the stones to take charge or is that league policy?

Posted by 13 user names on 04/22/12 at 09:06 PM 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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