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What did you think about the Panik-Almquist hit?

The gents in the comments section pointed out that what I saw in limited replays as a hit from behind from one Richard Panik to Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Adam Almquist, during Game 3 of the Griffins-Crunch Calder Cup Final, was in fact nearly head-on as Almquist was turning toward play (I thought it was a check from behind, and got it wrong)...But Almquist is likely out for Game 4, and this hit resulted in Panik scoring the game's first goal while Almquist lay on the ice.

I didn't like the hit, but it does beg several questions:

1. Was it a "charge" or "boarding," or simply predatory? Does the fact that Almquist made what is a rare move today in turning toward play instead of away from the play and toward the boards (which would yield a hit "in the numbers") absolve Panik from guilt here?

2. And is the rule that teams whose players suffer injuries must regain possession and control of the puck before a whistle is blown still really fair?

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1.  Almqvist is a very slight 5-11 173 and Panik is a much bigger and stronger 6-1 208 who came in with a load of steam.  I can’t see how high he hit him, but without going head first the Panik hit looks totally fine to me.  It’s just a huge guy obliterating a small guy.  It happens.  This is why there aren’t a lot of super small dmen at the NHL level.  They would get killed by a seasons’ worth of forechecks.

2.  Watch a soccer game, George.  While ideally you’d like to think players wouldn’t take advantage of it, we have to know that there are all sorts of divers in the NHL who would drop to the ice like they got shot if they thought it would slow up a rush.

In situations where a guy is legitimately hurt it looks bad, but I’d much rather that than the alternative… which would be watching Matt Cooke’s fall to the ice and roll around just as a 3 on 2 was forming up.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/13/13 at 02:15 PM ET

Laran's avatar

It may have been slightly predatory with a higher shoulder but Panik did stop moving his feet and Almquist in no way braced for the hit. He should have been much more aware that a player was forechecking.

Regardless…I don’t know how a play continues for another 12 seconds with a player severely injured on the ice.

Posted by Laran on 06/13/13 at 02:17 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

While the camera-changes don’t allow us to see Panik’s entire trajectory, it does look like a clean, really freakin’ hard hit from the video available.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/13/13 at 02:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I watch soccer pretty regularly and am aware of the diving phenomenon.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/13/13 at 02:23 PM ET

RW19's avatar

Reminds me of Stevens destroying Kozlov, except of course this is along the boards. Looked clean but hard, just like it did last night. Basically poor 170 pound Almquist turns right into 210 pound Panik (who played a pretty good game). I don’t see anything dirty at all. I did

Posted by RW19 on 06/13/13 at 02:28 PM ET


Did Almquist think it was icing? Should Mrazek have warned him of the guy flying down like that?

Clearly Almquist handled that a little weirdly.

But the hit looked a bit harder and higher that it should have been. I can live with no call I guess. But its still not the kind of hits that should be happening if we want to prevent head injuries.

Posted by lancer on 06/13/13 at 02:32 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Looks like the sort of “check finishing” that we’d all cream ourselves over if Franzen ever decided to get engaged and do the same.

That aside, I personally don’t see this as a dirty or predatory hit as Panik seems to really stop striding at the end and lets his momentum do the work.

Posted by SK77 on 06/13/13 at 02:33 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Like I said earlier: Live, I thought it was a boarding, then the replay was shown and just about the time he gets hit the camera zooms out and pans to the right. So nobody really knew what happened and assumed it was a boarding. When I looked it up this morning saw it wasn’t a boarding penalty but I thought maybe a charging. But upon further review I think it was just a heavy hit.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/13/13 at 02:43 PM ET


A much better look at it comes from George’s own earlier post, the one with Blashill at the podium.  The hit is zoomed in and you see at the 0:01 second mark that Almquist turns to look to see if anyone is coming and then gets crushed face to face about 3 seconds later.  The hit was not even high.  The guy is short.  There was no elbow or shoulder to the head.  A clean hit in every possible manner.

And the rule to let play continue is the rule.  Until that is changed, there is nothing the refs can do about it.  Once again, I congratulate the Griffins for calling it a clean hit and not retaliating during the game.


Posted by jkm2011 on 06/13/13 at 02:44 PM ET

SYF's avatar

At the point of impact, I think I saw two things: 

1) it knocked the wind out of him and
b) his head hit the glass.

Posted by SYF from the C7.R, flyin' low and feelin' mean on 06/13/13 at 02:45 PM ET


1. Was it a “charge” or “boarding,” or simply predatory?

I can’t say it’s charging because he’s clearly coasting in, and I wouldn’t say boarding because when I think of boarding I think of the player being thrown into the boards, but Almquist was right against the boards.

The best term I can think of would be opportunistic.

2. And is the rule that teams whose players suffer injuries must regain possession and control of the puck before a whistle is blown still really fair?

I think it is, because if the ref doesn’t think the hit deserves a penalty call then he shouldn’t penalize the “offending” team by blowing the whistle.  If the whistle were blown immediately every time a player laid on the ice then faked injuries would skyrocket.

Posted by Garth on 06/13/13 at 02:45 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

If the whistle were blown immediately every time a player laid on the ice then faked injuries would skyrocket.
Posted by Garth on 06/13/13 at 03:45 PM ET

Yep. Diving is getting bad enough. We don’t need to give offenders more of a chance to become soccer players

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/13/13 at 02:50 PM ET


Hit was hard but clean.
I don’t think it was anyone’s “fault” but this may need to be assessed. Almquist may find NA hockey too rough for him. This was not a devastating hit, or it shouldn’t have been. I’d like to see what he can do in a couple more years, but can his slight build take the pounding?

Posted by teldar on 06/13/13 at 03:04 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

If Almquist was maybe a few inches further from the boards it could have been boarding, but as it occurred it looks like a clean hit. A vicious hit, but clean.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/13/13 at 03:48 PM ET

perfection's avatar

to me, it really just looked like flapjacks on a ferris wheel… not sure what you guys were looking at

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 06/13/13 at 06:17 PM ET


I watch soccer pretty regularly and am aware of the diving phenomenon.

Then why are you even bringing the notion of changing the rule up?

You already think referees are inept.  You know players dive whenever they think they could gain an advantage.  You watch a sport where dives happen literally every 5 minutes of game time.  Why suggest something that relies on the former and facilitates the middle and models the latter?

I think it sucks that Almqvist got blasted… but it happens.  Even to Wings players.  As far as I can tell all the sturm und drang here is because the player obliterated was a Wings property.  It was a clean hit and it’s a decent rule, although sometimes it makes things look pretty bad.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/13/13 at 06:52 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.