Originally written on NHL Hot Stove  |  Last updated 11/3/14

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 27: Mark Fistric #28 of the Dallas Stars warms up before the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on November 27, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Stars 5-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Alexander Monaghan
President

On a night with 12 games on the docket, it should come to no surprise that we have not only one, but two controversial hits. Regarding the Jordin Tootoo incident we took a more down-the-middle approach. However, the shoulder-to-head hit from Dallas Stars defender Mark Fistric is a bit more subjective than most.

New York Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter came breaking down the side boards at top speed and just received the puck. The right wing skated from his left to his right, receiving the puck at full speed and clearly did not see the physical defender. The hit could be construed as east-west but the defender was simply stepping up to the play. Niederreiter either did not see the defender at all or thought he could skate by him but it remains abundantly clear that he should have seen him on the ice — Fistric didn’t skate from the center of the ice to the boards, he was already on that side of the ice.

The game of hockey is incredibly fast as is Niederreiter so we can only assume he wasn’t expecting the hit. As much is clear considering the former Portland Winterhawk was unable to protect himself on the play.

As Fistric hit the Swiss right wing, he left his feet but it is unclear whether he jumped pre or post impact. Nevertheless, if he was actually leaving his feet prior to making contact he probably would have fallen differently. Then again, it could be argued that he did not make an attempt to get low enough on the hit. A lower angle would certainly guarantee no contact with the head. Fistric also could miss the hit altogether which would allow for an odd-man rush.

Not making that hit is not in Fistric’s vocabulary. It’s the type of game he plays. Despite playing in only 19 of the team’s 27 games he leads the team in that counting stat. He posted 173 hits last year in only 57 games and 171 hits over 67 games the year before that. The Stars pay him to hit and frankly not to do much more.

Although the Edmonton, Alberta has never been suspended there have been a few close calls with the law. He was almost suspended by hitting current teammate Eric Nystrom with his helmet during a fight when the latter played for the Minnesota Wild. He also concussed Detroit Red Wings power forward Johan Franzen with an elbow to the head, which went unpunished. He has a history of questionable play which probably leads to a suspension of some kind.

In addition, Niederreiter is believed to have a concussion which should further place the onus on Fistric. See for yourself, courtesy of Hockey Fights, and voice your opinion in the comments.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

Russell Wilson on contract: 'It's going to work out'

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Report: Discussions to bring NFL team to L.A. are progressing

Report: Chris Mullin expected to take St. John's job

Michigan State beats Louisville, punches Final Four ticket

Ex-NHL player viciously attacks opponent before game

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sportswriter get into it over on-court access

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.