Headshots – Should the NHL be doing more about hits to the head? And an update on Oilers injury front.

By , November 19, 2009 10:09 am
Boom, head shot!

Boom, head shot!

Ok, this is obviously inspired by the open ice hit Ethan Moreau received in the 2nd period of last night’s game vs. Colorado Avalanche. Moreau was skating through the neutral zone with chasing down a long pass, with his head down. Along comes Ryan Wilson who puts his arms up and levels Moreau while he is vulnerable.

So, legal or illegal? If you say legal, should these types of hits become illegal? Or is this just Hockey at its finest?

For those of you that missed it, here is the Ryan Wilson hit on Ethan Moreau.

David Staples has a good article up about the Wilson hit on Moreau that is worth checking out as well.


Does the NHL need to do a better job on penalizing head shots?

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In other news…

On the Oilers injury front, Marc Pouliot will be skating again tomorrow according to the Oilers official Twitter. Dan Tencer also mentioned that Ryan Stone is hoping to skate with the team soon, although he’s been skating on his own for a week and a half now. TSN says that Comrie has mono.

TSN is also reporting that the Oilers are currently at 121 man games lost. For all of last season they were at 225. This equates to 5.5 players out with injury per game which is double the pace of last year. For all of 2007/08 (a team record year for man games lost at 346 for the season), they lost an average of 4.2 players per game.

33 Responses to “Headshots – Should the NHL be doing more about hits to the head? And an update on Oilers injury front.”

  1. Racki says:

    I will admit that if Moreau were on the giving side of that hit, I would have loved it. The fan in me loves to see those hits. The fan in me hates to see those hits done to our players though. The league has to be concerned with concussions, one way or another. I guess Mark Messier developed (or is plugging) some new helmet too that is supposed to help in that regard, but I don’t think that will quite do it.

  2. Trogdor says:

    The Moose is involved with a new helmet to protect against concussions? Is he on the QA team hucking elbows?

    The only way to protect against a concussion on hits like last night’s would be to protect the entire head(cage/visor) and immobilize the head. Not too many players are going to be up for something like that on the ice. Everyone running around like batman twisting their upper bodies to look around. Comical for a bit, but it would get old pretty fast.

  3. Steve-O says:

    moose is pushing a one piece helmet as the current ones are still two pieces and he says that they don’t protect enough

  4. Racki says:

    They should all wear Gazoo helmets.

  5. Horpensky says:

    In general players that get head-shotted end up missing games. The last thing we ever want are players getting injured, that’s just terrible. Players that give out concussions should miss games themselves because a fellow player is going to miss games themselves because of the head hit.

  6. chucker says:

    First thing, I LOVE THE FALLOUT PIC!! BEST GAME IN YEARS.

    Ahem….I thought the hit was dirty for sure. Moreau’s hit was one of those that the other player did raise the arm a bit, but on the flip side, KEEP YER HEAD UP!! Moreau should have expected to be pasted with his head down coming over the blue line. Most guys in the NHL would take the chance to throw that hit, just not with the arm up as much.

    It was nice to see Storts go after the guy. Is it just me or does Storts seem to be getting more respect from the other teams? That guy hugged him up because he wanted no part of Storts. I have to say I’m pleased with how he’s coming along.

    As far as the automatic penalty/suspension for a head injury, I think if it’s a hit from behind 100% penalty and suspension. Even if it’s just a regular injury like what happened to Reddox. Should have been a light suspension there.

    Now just because a player is consussed should not warrant an automatic penalty on an open ice hit. Whatever happened to the two second rule. You’re fair game. Keep your head up. The predatory hits from outside field of vision that usually come from a player’s blind side….suspend those.

  7. Racki says:

    Yes, I loved that Stortini stood up for Moreau there… and you’re right he’s getting more respect. The funny thing with him is that people were calling him huggy bear, and he was a 22-year old, very out classed in fights taking on some of the leagues most dangerous guys (seriously – Boofuckingaard). He still has the weirdest punch (hammerfist), but that could be from some knuckle damage, who knows. But he isn’t afraid to go with anyone. He’s a good leader too… good example for players to follow.

    I’ve supported Stortini a lot… even in the huggy bear era. But even so, there was a time I didn’t see a use for him and thought we should wave him (I think it was early on last year during pre-season and a few regular season games). Glad the Oil showed patience with him. Not going to put up many points at all, but he can be a difference maker.

  8. Steve-O says:

    chucker: First thing, I LOVE THE FALLOUT PIC!! BEST GAME IN YEARS.

    agreed

    Racki: He still has the weirdest punch (hammerfist), but that could be from some knuckle damage, who knows.

    can’t damage his scorers hands

  9. Racki says:

    They should start letting hockey players wear 4oz gloves when fighting, then they can protect those piano fingers.

  10. OilerTyler says:

    I have a question for you guys, Horcoff has 6 points in his last 6 games, and is on a 3 game point streak. Do you guys think that he can keep up this pace, or do you guys think he is just getting lucky?

    I am hoping that he is starting to find his game and would love to see him put up at least 20 goals this year.

  11. Racki says:

    He has honestly looked noticeably better to me throughout the season. So who knows. But I’d guess that he hits the standard 50-55 pts or so (if even). I think he’s just on a bit of a luck streak at the moment.

  12. DropIt says:

    On the hit to the head topic, and Moreau specifically. I got this of HFboards, which LNOF spoke of back in the GT. There is a perfect pictyre showing that Wilson’s should was planted in Moreau’s sternum.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=705077&page=2

    But also, I think think they need to implement a cemented hit to head rule and inforce it evenly regardless of players star status (I don’t remember Richards getting a suspension). Until then, don’t hand out random suspensions to 3rd line players and not 1st liners

  13. Puritania says:

    Removing the instigator would resolve a lot of these situations in my opinion. Respect would find it’s way back into the game.

  14. Racki says:

    I actually can agree with you to an extent, Puritania. But Stortini still fought Wilson and handled him fairly well.. did it really matter to Wilson though? I’d like to see the instigator removed anyways, whether it helps with head shots or not anyways ;)

    And DropIt, I know the hit is legal by today’s standards.. that has nothing to do with it for me. The question is, should it be? I think it’s debatable. Hits like that obviously can cause problems with a career very easily. Concussions can create quite a mess with a career. So right now this is what I hear from the NHL: “it’s ok that he ruined/hampered Player X’s career, because it was within the rules”.

    I think if the NHL really wants to protect it’s assets (and the NHLPA as well), then they really shouldn’t half ass it. I love the big hits as much as anyone though, but I hate to see a guy on my fave team have his career ruined or a season ended, or whatever, because of a big hit to the head.

    Why is the league so concerned about what the hitter hits with as opposed to where his hit lands?

    Edit: DropIt, I also misread your message too… you can’t even see Moreau’s face in that picture because it’s currently being obliterated by Wilson’s shoulder. That’s what I’m talking about… landing anything on a players head at those speeds is definitely approaching concussion territory.

  15. Puritania says:

    Guys know they will tend to get away with cheap, savage hits because of that awful rule. I think Wilson might have been mauled by Stortini (again) and a few others had the instigator not been in place. It’s just too easy to be a shitbag on the ice now a days.

    Guys are hesitant to do what Stortini did knowing they sit for so long and potentially force their team to kill 2 or 5 minutes.

    I think it would have mattered to Wilson had he been visited by Souray and Strudwick afterwards. Hopefully the NHL brass pulls their heads out their asses and gets rid of that rule soon.

  16. Racki says:

    What the heck? A bunch of posts disappeared…

  17. Trogdor says:

    Yeah. I thought I was losing my mind there… My post and the one I quoted. Not sure what else.

  18. Mr.Majestyk says:

    with regards to the instigator rule, it might not have been a factor in last nights game, but it would certainly deter some players from committing cheap shots. And besides that point, we were penalized for defending our player so that in itself is reason enough to do away with it. If those hits are allowed, we should be able to come to the defense of our player without being penalized for it.

    Something Don Cherry always talks about is the padding that players wear. If NHL players weren’t all decked out in suits of armour, players might not be as carefree about smashing into guys at full speed.

    Every player on the ice has to be aware of their surroundings and do everything they can to protect themselves. In cases when they are unable to do that, and are in a vulnerable position, I believe its up to the opponent to show respect and not ‘attempt to injure’ which I think they are doing when they purposely lay someone out full speed. This was a Led Zep post…ramble on.

  19. Is there a video of the hit anywhere… I’d like to analyze it before Ï make any kind of judgement.

  20. Racki says:

    Most likely your best bet would be to check youtube.. search for Wilson hit Moreau or something. I know there’s video of Moreau hitting Wilson in a previous game, but there should be video of Wilson hitting Moreau too, I’m sure.

  21. Steve-O says:

    unfortunately don’t have access to youtube here at work

  22. gr8one says:

    Racki: Most likely your best bet would be to check youtube.. search for Wilson hit Moreau or something. I know there’s video of Moreau hitting Wilson in a previous game, but there should be video of Wilson hitting Moreau too, I’m sure.

    I was actually unable to find it on youtube, however jibblescribbits, I’m not sure why Racki didn’t just tell you to click on the link he himself provided in the third paragraph below the “Fallout” picture at the top.

    If I knew Racki better, I might even call him a dumbass.

    hehe, Racki, please don’t go all Chuck Norris on me, k? http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,297&fr=false

  23. Racki says:

    Blackberry it up!

  24. Racki says:

    Actually wait, I have the link in the original post… dur. Click the link in the original post, Jibble.

  25. Steve-O says:

    ok, i can see it on my blackberry but that doesn’t help me get him the link to it

  26. Racki says:

    Doesn’t that POS give you the URL of where you are?

  27. Racki says:

    gr8one:
    I was actually unable to find it on youtube, however jibblescribbits, I’m not sure why Racki didn’t just tell you to click on the link he himself provided in the third paragraph below the “Fallout” picture at the top.If I knew Racki better, I might even call him a dumbass.hehe, Racki, please don’t go all Chuck Norris on me, k? http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,297&fr=false

    LOL this comment got held for review (site automatically does for certain criteria, namely links) so I didn’t see it until after it dawned on me that I had the link above. I’m a dumbass, yes. I also blame Jibble for not reading the OP. :P

    Btw, the thing that makes posts pending if you have two or more links in it has been removed. I find it only blocked legitimate posts.

    Also, The Wall is back up. hooray!

  28. chucker says:

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Edmonton/2009/11/19/11821476-sun.html

    Brutal. This injury thing is getting beyond ridiculous with this team. We have not had a healthy team for about 4 years now.

    Moreau looks like he has a consussion.

    Quinn should just do a spreadsheet of all the injuries to save him time. He’s got to be frustrated as hell.

  29. chucker says:

    Oh, and thanks for the FO3 pick and then the little martian dude. I stayed up way to late playing Mothership Zeta.

  30. zackman35 says:

    I’m pretty sure this was mentioned above but plain and simple remove the instigator penalty. That way if you have a player that gets crushed from a head shot or a cheap shot a teammate can stand up for him and punish the opponent.

    When Moreau suffered the blow, Storts jumped in and had the right motives however he did not punish. Stortini was taking on more an agitator role than an enforcing role. Now players where to properly enforce I think the opponent would think twice before laying down the dirty play.

  31. chucker says:

    zackman35: I’m pretty sure this was mentioned above but plain and simple remove the instigator penalty. That way if you have a player that gets crushed from a head shot or a cheap shot a teammate can stand up for him and punish the opponent. When Moreau suffered the blow, Storts jumped in and had the right motives however he did not punish. Stortini was taking on more an agitator role than an enforcing role. Now players where to properly enforce I think the opponent would think twice before laying down the dirty play.

    For sure zackman. I’m a big supporter of removing the instigator. I think most people know that. I would also say that they need to go back to adding those lost roster spots back to the team. Add two roster spots and get rid of the instigator also be able to ice the extra two like you used to be able to and all this crap goes away in less than two months.

    Critics will say it’s a step back, and they are right. That’s the point. The only guys that would dare take shots at Orr are honest players like Quinn, and he had Stan Jonathan waiting for him. That’s what was expected and understood.

    Ever since expansion and the introduction of the instigator, the Euro invasion that brought all the stick infractions with them, they really tried to adapt to the mix of new players coming in instead of the players adapting to the NHL like it should have been.

    The answer is obvious. It’s not PC though, so Gary won’t even look at it. If Slats was commish, it would get done in a heartbeat. Same with Clarke or Wilson.

  32. Racki says:

    I’d love to see them add just one extra roster spot even.. all they need. And yes, abolish the instigator already. However, the GMs are apparently in favor of keeping it, which stinks.

  33. zackman35 says:

    Yeah, I agree with your post completely Chucker.

    Racki: I’d love to see them add just one extra roster spot even.. all they need. And yes, abolish the instigator already. However, the GMs are apparently in favor of keeping it, which stinks.

    And I’m not sure why they wish to keep it. Do they think it will slow down the game if enforcers are brought it? Because really, I see that being the prominent issue.

    First a team would bring in an enforcer maybe like Tie Domi’s size then another team would sign a guy that’s Laraque’s size to compete with the other team and then another team would sign a Boogard. Once guys that size are brought in, the common stereotype is that they will end up being slow skaters and only brought in because of their brute force. The overall speed of the team and then in essence, the overall speed of the game would be brought down. If that’s the major issue I can kind of understand it.

    Kind of like when the Oil dressed Mac to fight/defend against McGrattan. If McGrattan didn’t dress I highly doubt Macintyre would have dressed either. I was a big fan of Macintyre’s character but not so much his level of hockey. So in that aspect I could see why they are in favour of keeping the rule that and the fact that they’d be ‘taking up’ a roster spot.

    I think that issue can be solved though, a team just has to sign a hybrid enforcer, one who can skate and throw their weight/fists around. They don’t have to be Getzlaf, or power forward that can score goals and throw his weight around but someone like Stortini would be perfect for the job. As long as he literally beats his opponents and strikes fear when you know you’ve made a dirty play.

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