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The Backes call was terrible. Huskins was injured, and the Wings took the PP, but it was terrible

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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Comments

Bugsy's avatar

I’m all for safety, but I think a football player already said earlier this week that he thinks pro football may not exist in 30 years if they’re being overprotective of the play. That’s what I was thinking of when I saw this.

Posted by Bugsy on 02/02/13 at 12:25 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

BS call.

But considering all the back pay the refs owe the Wings over the Holmstrom years, I’m not gonna feel bad about it for a second.

F the St. Lose and F Backes even harder.  Like the Ducks back when they were relevant, the Blues play with intent to injure in every game against Detroit.  They deserve for these things to happen to them.  Couldn’t happen to a lousier group of players.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 02/02/13 at 12:37 AM ET

drimo's avatar

Backes came in at nearly a 90 degree angle, Huskins’ head flopping gave the impression his head had been hit.  From the back ref’s point of view, isn’t this the exact type of hit (blind side / lateral) that we’re trying to get out of the game?

Posted by drimo from Cincinnati, OH on 02/02/13 at 01:34 AM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I can admit just like everyone else that this was a terrible call, but that being said, Backes is a punk bitch who got a karma call against him here. Every game against us (yep), he runs around all night long just hunting. No one hits him back. I don’t like the call, but in an odd way, he earned it. By the way, why is it that the Wings games always seem to get the referee crews that call EVERYTHING? I watch other games and it’s like the two teams get away with murder.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 02/02/13 at 02:05 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Tootoo needs to knock that bitch into next week.

That said…BS call for sure. The most it should’ve gotten was a 2 minute minor for interference or “blind side hit” if that’s some new rule.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 02/02/13 at 02:09 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

The Ref did not have slow-motion replay.  He had to call what he saw.
In real time, it looked like intent to injure…
Huskins’ head went slamming to the side…
and then he looked injured, sprawled in the doorway.

Give the ref a break.

Posted by w2j2 on 02/02/13 at 02:15 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Backes sucks, Blues sucks, refs sucked, Wings win.

Woo!

I don’t give a shit. Let’s consider this at least partial recompense for all the times Barret Jackman has punched a guy in the back of the head with no call. It was still a late interference hit.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/02/13 at 02:16 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

“isn’t this the exact type of hit (blind side / lateral) that we’re trying to get out of the game?”

drimo, no ... this was NOT a blindside hit ... Huskins got Backes’ shoulder pad in the ribs because he was busy watching his pass and not looking around to see if anyone was coming after him.

2 mins. for a late hit I can understand but 5 and a game ??  Consider it a late Christmas gift from the refs because that was the call that decided the outcome of the game.

This is a perfect example of why some penalties need to be removed, making the refs more invisible.  If the league wasn’t trying to play mommy & daddy and being all over-protective of the players, this penalty wouldn’t have been called an Backes’ next shift would have been a fight with Tootoo or Bertuzzi.

Let the players take care of each other and take the game outcome out of the hands of the refs ... PLEEEEEEEEASE !!!!!

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 02/02/13 at 02:48 AM ET

Crater's avatar

Hope Huskins is okay. His head looked like a bobble head through the entire hit. Did not look good.  Might have seen his last game as a Red Wing. An injury now puts Lashoff back in, and with White back Huskins gets waived.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/02/13 at 02:50 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Huskins waived?? ... pffff ... what makes you think the injuries are magically going to stop ??  If anything, things are going to get worse the further into the season we go.

From the slo-mo video we have all seen, it looks like a rib injury for Huskins so, depending on how many are broken and how quick a healer he is, he’ll be back just in time for Coli to get hurt again.

Its all hands on deck and the more hands you have the more prepared you are.  No one is getting waived.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 02/02/13 at 04:49 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Easily the worst call I think I’ve ever seen… I don’t even buy the excuse about the speed of the game on the ice making this one hard for the ref to call. It was a devastating hit, and deserving of 2 minutes for interference, nothing more.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/02/13 at 10:26 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

@Crater - terrible logic. Lashoff is still on a 2 way deal, so rather than waive somebody we just signed, we would send Lashoff back to the minors, since he wouldn’t be exposed to waivers.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 02/02/13 at 01:46 PM ET

Avatar

The officiating in this league has been steadily deteriorating for years. Last night’s game was certainly no exception. Officials are helping to determine the outcome of games in a major way and I suspect that the players often have no idea how a game will be called or what is and what isn’t a penalty. Also, f*ck Backes.

Posted by godblender on 02/02/13 at 02:22 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by godblender on 02/02/13 at 01:22 PM ET

In this case, sure, it was a ref making a bad call. It happens, and while this bad call really takes the cake, it is also reasonable to remember even the best ref will make a dumb mistake occasionally.

The real systemic problem with bad officiating, to me, is not the refs, but the way the league keeps moving the target on them. The clutch and grab days weren’t great, but honestly, I think there’s a happy medium between 1999, any interference goes, and now.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/02/13 at 05:46 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.