The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/01/13 at 11:45 PM ET
As noted in the quick take, and as just about any Red Wings fan will tell you, the penalty assessed to St. Louis Blues David Backes for what was most assuredly a hard and was probably an intent-to-injure hit on Red Wings defenseman Kent Huskins--who did leave the game, and does have an "upper-body injury," according to Helene St. James and Ansar Khan--may have been the worst match penalty for a hit to the head ever assessed.
Late hit? Sure. Intereference call? I'm pretty sure that's what those "late interference" calls were designed to do, punish late hits where players in vulnerable positions are taken out (and as much as I dislike the Blues, I can't help but admit that Backes is remarkably efficient at being viciously predatory in that department) for the sake of hurting them.
But a 5-minute major and a game misconduct? Seriously? I don't think that any Wings fan would decline the penalty, even as bad as "our" team's power play has been, but jeez...This was horrible, just horrible. Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski offers a video of the hit...
And here's Wyshynski's take:
Good lord what a blown call.
Backes’s body is basically square with the numbers on Huskins’ arm. A violent hit, to be sure, but he makes more contact with the waist than the head.
It was a brutal call that undeniably changed the dynamics in the third period, especially with the Red Wings have knotted the thing up just over five minutes earlier.
Overall, there were complains from both fan bases throughout the game about officials Ian Walsh and Chris Lee, who called seven minor penalties in the first period. But this penalty on Backes is the kind of over-reactive, hair-trigger call that makes one think that over-protection of the players can sometimes trump good judgement. An embarrassment, given the stakes.
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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.