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The Malik Report

Make A Big Hit Then Fear A Suspension?

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

After teammate Justin Abdelkader was ejected Saturday from Game 3 of the Red Wings' playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks for a charging major that knocked Toni Lydman out of the game, Quincey admitted he's had to change his way of thinking since he was suspended a year ago for a big hit of his own.

"For a defenseman, there's risk-reward to hit anybody now," Quincey said. "There's no point. The chances of hitting a guy clean and not getting a suspension are very slim. I just try to stay between the dots and keep it simple, I guess

"Just look at the game tapes from years ago to now. There's not those huge hits you see in the corner. Very seldom. It's all in the forecheck. We're not allowed to hold up for our partner so they come in 100 mph on us but we never get that momentum to hit them. That's the difference.

"The game has changed. It is what it is. I don't know if it's sad. Like I said the risk-reward of trying to make that huge hit isn't there. There's no point. Abby is in totally different shoes than me. As a forward, that's his job. My job is to be tough in front of the net. I'm not going to make the highlight reel with a box out."

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42jeff's avatar

You can see this effect apparent in Kronwall especially.

Did he have ANY big hits this “season”?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/05/13 at 09:37 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Yes, the game has changed, and I think Q has a realistic attitude about it.  Lots of fans may not like it, but it is what it is.  This may explain why Kronwall hasn’t been hitting like he used to.

Interesting that he said at the end of the article that he doesn’t believe NHL players are going around trying to hurt each other.  Babcock said the same thing in the post-game interview.  But then I thought immediately about Shea Weber…

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/05/13 at 10:03 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

They’ve taken the big hit out of hockey, simply because the ref’s don’t call the hit, they call the result.  It can be the cleanest hit in the world, but if the guy doesn’t get up, they’re going to give you a major.  There’s no sense in trying it anymore, since you can’t trust the refs to call it right.  You’re just putting yourself and the team in jeopardy.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 10:17 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

And if it is a big hit, no matter how clean it is, the other team just assumes it’s a dirty hit and starts a big scrum.  I really hate that.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/05/13 at 10:30 AM ET

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Quincey’s quote is interesting, because when he was suspended last year he absolutely leapt at Kopecky and the primary point of contact was absolutely Quincey’s elbow on Kopecky’s head.

So maybe he’s actually a guy who needed to change his game.

As for whether players are trying to hurt each other, I definitely don’t think they are.  I think there are very few guys who are attempting to hurt each other, but I also think there are a lot of guys who don’t have any regard for the guy they’re hitting.

And as for punishing the result rather than the hit, I’m becoming less and less concerned with that.  If a player is injured because of a freak accident, something that’s completely unforeseeable, then punishing the result isn’t right, but if you hit someone and they get injured as a direct result of the hit, maybe you should sit down and maybe you should think about the way you throw a hit.

If you were in court would it be acceptable to say “Hey, I didn’t mean to kill that pedestrian, I was just trying to get home faster”?

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 11:42 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

And as for punishing the result rather than the hit, I’m becoming less and less concerned with that.  If a player is injured because of a freak accident, something that’s completely unforeseeable, then punishing the result isn’t right, but if you hit someone and they get injured as a direct result of the hit, maybe you should sit down and maybe you should think about the way you throw a hit.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 12:42 PM ET

With that logic you’re taking hitting out of the game.  If you throw a body on body hit and the guy gets hurt, you have no control over that.  As fast as hockey players move, if guys are going at anywhere near full speed there’s a pretty good chance an injury will occur.  So that leads to don’t hit anyone too hard anymore, because you don’t know what’s going to happen and what will be called.  Anything other than sealing a guy against the boards is about to become extinct.  Open ice hits are going to disappear altogether.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 12:07 PM ET

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So that leads to don’t hit anyone too hard anymore, because you don’t know what’s going to happen and what will be called.

No, it leads to choosing your hits and not just destroying someone because you can.  And if you want to pretend that the result of Abdelkader’s hit was surprising—based on the fact that for most of the time Abdelkader was preparing to throw the hit Lydman had no way of knowing he was coming—then maybe you should try a little harder.

Anaheim and Detroit combined for 42 hits last night and one (1) was penalized.  Seems to me that’s evidence that there isn’t a “good chance” for an injury whenever you throw a hit.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 12:17 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I kinda agree with Garth here. There is a lack of respect in this day and age for the ‘other guy’. I dont mean Abby should have avoided contact, but he sure as crap knew he had a target unaware a freight train was coming…. back off a little make the hit and keep on playing. Usually these big hits or attempts leave the player out of position to carry on or on the ice and out of the play.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/05/13 at 12:33 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

No, it leads to choosing your hits and not just destroying someone because you can.  And if you want to pretend that the result of Abdelkader’s hit was surprising—based on the fact that for most of the time Abdelkader was preparing to throw the hit Lydman had no way of knowing he was coming—then maybe you should try a little harder.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:17 PM ET

I wasn’t just talking about that hit.  It’s hitting in general.  By your logic it’s no longer the players’ responsibility to be aware of his surroundings and keep his head up.  That’s when a lot of players get hurt.  It’s not always the hitters fault when someone gets hurt on a big hit.

And that’s where the Abdelkader hit comes back in, and why I still think it’s a bad call.  Lydman wasb’t aware of his surroundings (and he should of been, he’s going for a puck in the corner, you’re going to get hit), and it was a SHOULDER TO SHOULDER hit.  So where is the penalty?  It’s Lydman’s responsibilty to know where the pressure is coming from.

Anaheim and Detroit combined for 42 hits last night and one (1) was penalized.  Seems to me that’s evidence that there isn’t a “good chance” for an injury whenever you throw a hit.

We’re talking about big hits here, not hitting in general.  Maybe you should try harder.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:05 PM ET

Primis's avatar

You can see this effect apparent in Kronwall especially.

Did he have ANY big hits this “season”?

Posted by 42jeff from Minot, North Dakota on 05/05/13 at 10:37 AM ET

Yes, he had two or three.  All of them were him skating backwards to deliver it with his hindquarters.  Kronwall has realized it’s nearly impossible to gain a suspension that way, as head contact is then nearly impossible.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 01:10 PM ET

markierer's avatar

It’s like alcohol and driving. When the police is stopping you with 0.08 - no problem. But when you have an accident with 0.06 - your done. A player has to carry responsibility about his hits. If he hurts him it’s his problem. And by the way it was a useless hit in the o zone.

Posted by markierer on 05/05/13 at 01:16 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

And by the way it was a useless hit in the o zone.

Posted by markierer on 05/05/13 at 02:16 PM ET

Yes, because trying to free up the puck and create a turnover in a tie game is useless.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:21 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I should also note:  Kronwall as not had the *freedom* to go get too many hits like that this year.  He’s now our #1 d-man and has had other responsibilities.  So if anyone is planning on using him as an example for anything based on this season, be aware that his hitting does not exist in a bubble.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 01:24 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

So basically my original point has been proven.  Most of you are advocating the removal of the big open-ice hit from the game of hockey.  Since you can never be sure when it will lead to injury, and if there is an injury it should be an automatic major and suspension, why risk it?  Guess players will soon be free to skate with their heads staring at the puck with no fear of getting smoked anymore.  Neat.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:25 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

I should also note:  Kronwall as not had the *freedom* to go get too many hits like that this year.  He’s now our #1 d-man and has had other responsibilities

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 02:24 PM ET

You mean like shooting and passing directly into defenders’ shin pads?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:27 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Yes, because trying to free up the puck and create a turnover in a tie game is useless.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 02:21 PM ET

There’s very little chance Abby is going to get there in time to knock the puck off him/knock him off the puck.  Abby had to come across the ice to deliver it, and that’s too much time.  And I bet Abby even knows it.  He’s going to get rid of hit just before hit is nothing else (which is then precisely what happened).

Please don’t pretend that there’s some sort of justification for it as a “hockey play” or that it was going to generate good things aside from knocking the #%$&@ out of a guy.  There really isn’t.  It was a brain fart from a guy that generally does better than that.  Argument aside of whether that’s a clean hit or not, it’s not a necessary hit.

And I said roughly 3242389 times last night, Abby making that hit is NOT going to score DET a goal, which is how you win the game.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 01:28 PM ET

markierer's avatar

Yes, because trying to free up the puck and create a turnover in a tie game is useless.

Unfortunately they didn’t had the puck after the hit but a 5’ PK.

Posted by markierer on 05/05/13 at 01:30 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

I’d bet on a 1 game suspension. Anything more and I’d be really surprised. I can’t recall being truly outraged on any shanny decisions. At least the ones he’s made post playing career.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 01:33 PM ET

Primis's avatar

So basically my original point has been proven.  Most of you are advocating the removal of the big open-ice hit from the game of hockey.  Since you can never be sure when it will lead to injury, and if there is an injury it should be an automatic major and suspension, why risk it?  Guess players will soon be free to skate with their heads staring at the puck with no fear of getting smoked anymore.  Neat.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 02:25 PM ET

I guess if you want to be completely ignorant of the fact that there are other ways to hit, sure then, whatever.

You don’t have to leap.  You don’t have to lean in and lead with your shoulder even.  You don’t have to hit the head.  You don’t have to go in after a guy in the offensive zone for no reason whatsoever other than you can.

Again, Kronwall is proof of all this, he turns and then leads with his backside and by doing so has removed most every possibility of a claim of targetting the head, or using his arms/elbows, etc.  It’s rather clever by Kronwall honestly and I’m surprised more haven’t tried to adjust the same way.  That sort of thing is probably eventually the future or hitting… until someone can come up with even a semi-legit complaint about it.  Under current criteria, there’s very little way to find fault with it save for maybe if you’re still careless with your elbow.

Just because guys can’t launch themselves forward through someone’s head anymore doesn’t mean you can’t hit.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 01:37 PM ET

Avatar

I wasn’t just talking about that hit.  It’s hitting in general. 

We’re talking about big hits here, not hitting in general.

Hmm.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 02:37 PM ET

Well said.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:42 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

You don’t have to leap.  You don’t have to lean in and lead with your shoulder even.  You don’t have to hit the head.  You don’t have to go in after a guy in the offensive zone for no reason whatsoever other than you can.

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 02:37 PM ET

He didn’t leap, again, both feet WERE ON THE ICE at contact.  And you don’t have to lead with your shoulder?  You don’t always have the time to do a half spin and go in ass first.  Hitting with your shoulder is hitting 101.  That’s how you hit.  It’s the hitters responsibilty to not target the head, it’s the hit receivers responsibilty to know where he is on the ice and who is around him.  Abby hit him in the shoulder, Lydman wasn’t aware of his surroundings.  Lydman’s fault.  Period.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:42 PM ET

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Lydman’s fault.  Period.

It’s Lydman’s fault for not knowing a guy was coming in from behind him?  He didn’t turn away at the last second, he turned towards Abdelkader at the last second.

You’re so completely full of shit.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:44 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

I wasn’t just talking about that hit.  It’s hitting in general.

We’re talking about big hits here, not hitting in general.

Hmm.


Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 02:37 PM ET

Well said.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:42 PM ET

Here’s what I said:

if guys are going at anywhere near full speed there’s a pretty good chance an injury will occur.  So that leads to don’t hit anyone too hard anymore, because you don’t know what’s going to happen and what will be called.  Anything other than sealing a guy against the boards is about to become extinct.  Open ice hits are going to disappear altogether.

Pretty clear what I’m talking about here.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:45 PM ET

Avatar

Garth that is a terrible example and a horrible way of thinking.  The game is becoming less enjoyable and the league is doing it on pupise out of fear.  Nobody knows the rules and they aren’t enforced consistently.  It’s a circus, and a boring one at that.

Posted by SlimChance on 05/05/13 at 01:46 PM ET

Avatar

It’s the hitters responsibilty to not target the head, it’s the hit receivers responsibilty to know where he is on the ice and who is around him.

Maybe they should get rid of the high sticking penalty too, because shouldn’t it be the victim’s fault that he got in the way of a stick?

Maybe Lydman wouldn’t have gotten hit like that if he wasn’t dressed so provocatively, right?  He was asking for it.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:46 PM ET

Avatar

and the league is doing it on pupise out of fear.

What the hell are you talking about?

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:47 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

I was starting to get bored too. Then I turned on this NYI/Pens game when it was 4-2 pens. Tavares he’s pretty decent player.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 01:48 PM ET

Avatar

Nobody knows the rules and they aren’t enforced consistently.

Therefore nobody should be punished for the complete lack of respect and regard that some guys have for their opponents?

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:49 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

It’s Lydman’s fault for not knowing a guy was coming in from behind him?  He didn’t turn away at the last second, he turned towards Abdelkader at the last second.

You’re so completely full of shit.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:44 PM ET

Gotta love people who can’t have a conversation without name calling.  You’re better than that Garth.  If you don’t agree, fine, but there’s no need to act like that.

And yes, as a D-man you should know if you’re tracking a puck in your corner with your back to the play for that long, there is SOMEBODY coming at you.  It’s the same thing as skating up the ice with your eyes staring at your feet, you need to have that clock in your head.  You only get so much time to ignore your surroundings in this league.

Now tell me why I’m a complete bleeping moron again, I’ll wait.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:50 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Maybe they should get rid of the high sticking penalty too, because shouldn’t it be the victim’s fault that he got in the way of a stick?

Maybe Lydman wouldn’t have gotten hit like that if he wasn’t dressed so provocatively, right?  He was asking for it.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:46 PM ET

High sticking is always a penalty, whether there is injury or not.  Shoulder hits are not penalties and outcome shouldn’t matter.  Just like targeting the head is always a penalty, regardless of the outcome.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:53 PM ET

Avatar

Gotta love people who can’t have a conversation without name calling. 

I didn’t call you a name.

And yes, as a D-man you should know if you’re tracking a puck in your corner with your back to the play for that long, there is SOMEBODY coming at you.

Really?  So it’s OK to bear down on a guy who has his back turned, but it’s not OK to be a human being who -like every human being ever born- doesn’t have eyes on the back of his head?

Remember when I said you’re full of shit?  You’re still full of shit.  You’re blaming the victim who would have no way of knowing that someone is coming up from behind him.

I bet you have a big following among rapists.

Now tell me why I’m a complete bleeping moron again, I’ll wait.

Remember when I called you a moron?  Oh wait, that’s right, you just put words in my mouth because you didn’t like what I actually said.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 01:54 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

Gotta love people who can’t have a conversation without name calling. 

I second that. I’m the idiot troll, guys. Just so you know.  At least Garth talks about the game. He just doesn’t sign on to name call and say whoohoo.

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 01:55 PM ET

Avatar

Quincey is making excuses for an inability to learn how to hit better.

Players just need to get better at something - is that so hard? Abdelkader, and many others, like Kostopolous on Stuart, need to not stand almost straight up right when they hit. You’re at a much higher chance of hitting a guy in the head when you’re standing up than when you stay crouched so that you can aim your shoulder at the guy’s chest.

That’s just one example. The fact is, players need to do a better job of thinking in the heat of the moment.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/05/13 at 01:58 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Remember when I said you’re full of shit?  You’re still full of shit

Remember when I called you a moron?  Oh wait, that’s right, you just put words in my mouth because you didn’t like what I actually said.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:54 PM ET

Same thing.

I bet you have a big following among rapists.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:54 PM ET

Thanks, you’ve proven my point.  You can argue semantics and belittle someone else.  I thought you were better than that.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 01:59 PM ET

DAN M's avatar

We’re all a little testy here and we should be. I’ve been driven bat shit crazy by this team and this league. Would u guys rather be in this position right now or out of the playoffs altogether?

Posted by DAN M on 05/05/13 at 02:01 PM ET

Avatar

Pretty clear what I’m talking about here.

Oh look, you made two completely contradictory statements and then when I pointed it out…you blamed me.

At least you’re being consistent.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:02 PM ET

Primis's avatar

He didn’t leap, again, both feet WERE ON THE ICE at contact.  And you don’t have to lead with your shoulder?  You don’t always have the time to do a half spin and go in ass first. 

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 02:42 PM ET

Are you for real?

Multiple angles show at least one of Abdelkader’s feet were up already.  He leaned in with his shoulder.

He also came from ACROSS THE ICE, so to sit here and spout that he “didn’t have time” to adjust is absolutely asinine.  He came in at him from the top of the *other* faceoff circle, he had time to do several 360’s if he wanted to.

Hitting with your shoulder is hitting 101.  That’s how you hit.

No, it’s not.  Have you watched any hockey in the last two seasons, at all?  You can’t possibly watch or follow hockey and sit here and tell me that this is “how you do it”.  the last 2 or 3 years have been an attempted deprogramming of guys thinking that way.  The league, suspensions, videos, and media all indicate otherwise.  The shift has been on for some time now and that is NOT how you hit anymore.  It is not.

Whether YOU personally approve of that fact is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that it is NOW the reality, and the NHL could really give a flying f*** what John W. thinks about hitting because he’s not sponsoring them, he’s not currently a player, he’s not an owner risking his own money on a player, and he’s not someone that is going to potentially file a class-action lawsuit like ex-NFL players did against the NFL.

Look, if you can’t adjust to the current hockeyscape, stop watching.  Do yourself and everyone else a favor now, and just stop.  If you really can’t watch hockey because guys can’t try and take each others’ heads off anymore, then don’t watch it.  Because in today’s world this is not a temporary thing and it is not going to just go back to suddenly being ok to launch yourself at guys just because you can.

 

Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 02:03 PM ET

Avatar

High sticking is always a penalty, whether there is injury or not.

Maybe it should be.  Why should the player with the stick need to be in control of it all the time?

And why should the hitter have to pay attention to the situation surrounding the guy he’s hitting?

Same thing.

No, actually, it isn’t.  At all.

Thanks, you’ve proven my point.

I thought your point was about name calling and that victims are responsible for what happens to them, not about sarcasm.

I guess that’s my fault for not knowing that you don’t know what name calling is.

Quincey is making excuses for an inability to learn how to hit better.

It’s too bad that he’s not the only one.

Posted by Garth on 05/05/13 at 02:06 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

No, it’s not.  Have you watched any hockey in the last two seasons, at all?  You can’t possibly watch or follow hockey and sit here and tell me that this is “how you do it”.  the last 2 or 3 years have been an attempted deprogramming of guys thinking that way.  The league, suspensions, videos, and media all indicate otherwise.  The shift has been on for some time now and that is NOT how you hit anymore.  It is not.


Posted by Primis on 05/05/13 at 03:03 PM ET

Shoulder to shoulder and shoulder to chest hits etc are still legal hockey hits.  You can argue all you want, but they are.  A shoulder to a guys head where the head is the principle point of contact is illegal.  I don’t know how to make it clearer than that.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/05/13 at 02:10 PM ET

Avatar

The problem with punishing the result instead of the hit is two fold, though.  Firstly it doesn’t take a big open ice-hit to get injured.  Just take DeKeyser for example, “I was kind of turning this way. I think it was Palmieri, I don’t really remember for sure. Kind of came in to hit me and my hand went into him as he hit me, just kind of bent it back, and I guess it snapped.”  So where’s the cry for a 5 minute major and game mis-conduct on that play?  No talk of suspension?  Of course not, because injuries can happen even on legal hits.

Secondly not all hits are the same.  From the player making the hit, to the way the two come together, to even how the body of the player who’s being hit reacts there’s just so many variables.  Several years back my wife (ex now) and I were rear ended while at a stop light.  Decent damage to the back end but not really bad.  The wife was stiff and sore in the neck the next day, but felt fine through the course of the day after that.  I on the other hand was stiff in the neck and the back for over a week and was having to down handfuls of aspirin the first three days just to move around.  Two people reacting quite differently to almost identical stimuli with the exception of the slight difference in how we were sitting, or the direction of the force of the collision into our bodies, or who knows what else.

Anyone who’s watched more than a couple games has seen hits way worse than Abdelkader’s where the recipient popped right up and kept playing.  Punishing players on the ice or through suspension afterwards based on injuries just isn’t logical.  I believe there are issues in regards to the players’ respect for each other, but as usual the NHL has no clue how to address that and instead seems content to chase the solution down a bottomless pit.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 05/05/13 at 02:11 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.