Last night, I watched the Dallas vs. Pittsburgh game (unfortunately, Pittsburgh won in a shootout). However, during the game, there was a hit that got everyone talking.
I do not know how to embed but: Here
is the video.
The Stars (and former Michigan star) Eric Nystrom hits Pens Defenseman Kris Letang high-ish.
Mike Milbury (aka the idiot in this post) and Jeremy Roenick (who usually is the idiot but in this case was right on) had an on air argument over this hit.
Here's the pros and cons on it being a dirty hit:
1. Pro: Nystrom makes no move to get the puck.
2. Con: If Nystrom made head contact, it was the brushing of his shoulder on Letang's chin.
3. Pro: Injury to the head occurred.
4. Con: Injury was more to the effect of the big hit rather than the shoulder.
5. Con: Main impact area is Letang's shoulder/collarbone. He got rocked and the impact alone would have knocked most guys out of the game anyways, imo.
6. Con: Letang was coming out of the corner and his head was down.
7. Con: Letang was away from the boards and his back was not turned to Nystrom at the time of impact.
In the end, Milbury ended up having a stroke on air (exaggeration) because even incidental or the brushing of the head should be a suspendable offense. Roenick correctly stated that if there is fault for the hit, it rests on Letang. Nystrom did not leave his skates nor made any distinguishable upward motion of the shoulders to attempt to headhunt.
Milbury went on to rant that hits like these should be eliminated from the game. This was NOT a head shot! It was whiplash due to the extreme and sudden change in direction of Letang's right shoulder exaggerated by the helmet hitting the ice.
This hit cannot be made illegal or the slippery slope will become a cliff.