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NY • United States • 28 Years Old • Male

Seabrook's Hit on Backes

Posted 12:03 PM ET | Comments 0
rnrnrnThe hit by Chicago's Brent Seabrook on St. Louis captain David Backes in game 2 was a clean hit that resulted in a game misconduct, and three game suspension for Seabrook. rnrnBackes was coming around the boards from behind the net. He touched the puck, but flew by leaving it in the corner to be picked up by Chicago defensemen Duncan Keith. Seabrook came from the near circle and slammed Backes into the boards. rnrnBackes puts himself in a vulnerable position. He has his head down. He's looking back over his shoulder at the puck, instead of forward at what's in front of him. Backes body position is shrugged down low; his head and shoulders barely above the edge of the boards where the glass begins. He is not aware of Seabrook coming towards him. He is skating in the kill zone, a foot off the boards. All of this is Backes' responsibility as a player to protect himself. rnrnSeabrook comes into the hit dropping his shoulder. Seabrook's right skate doesn't leave the surface of the ice until AFTER contact is made. As Seabrook comes into the hit he tucks his arm into his body. The hit happens less than two seconds after Backes touches the puck. Seabrook stops his stride before the bottom of the faceoff circle. Seabrook attempts to avoid contact with the head. This is evident because he turns away, landing against Backes and the boards as if he threw the hit with his back. rnrnThis was a reactionary, crowd pleasing call. It not only changed the outcome of the game but the series as well. rnrnMany people might disagree, including the NHL front office who decided to suspend Seabrook for three games on top of the one he was ejected. rnrnThree playoff games. I didn't know we were putting people on death row for snatching handbags. rnrnIf Seabrook's hit is worthy of a three game suspension, Brooks Orpik should only be allowed to play in every 4th game. David Backes himself has been running around taking chances, hitting everything in sight this entire series. Backes has to be aware there is a target on him; someone looking to get payback. rnrnRyan Miller said after the game, "I don't think a lot of people who are hockey fans and have seen the way they've been calling things should like it." He's a crying goaltender. But he's got a point with the way they've been calling things: no one would like it. rnrnThis is today's NHL. The new-age NHL. We have to get away from borderline dirty hits that can cause injuries to superstar players. These players are fan favorites. Franchises invest millions of dollars into them and don't want to see them getting blown up or hurt. It hurts the team to have them out of the lineup. This philosophy spawned a precedence starting 2-3 years ago when Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby incurred a concussion from a hit. No one hurts Sid. rnrnIt comes down to new-school vs. old-school mentality. 20 years is a long time, even 10 years is a long time. But great players, some of them legendary Hall of Famers, like Scott Stevens, Bob Probert, Claude Lemieux, Michael Peca, and even the all-mighty Brendan Shannahan would never have made it in today's NHL because of their heavy hitting, "dirty" play. Claude Lemieux was a filthy player, but he was a competitive hard-hitting player that teams would bring in, especially for playoffs. Michael Peca left his feet on every hit he ever made. Scott Stevens loved to take advantage of a player with their head down or in that "kill zone" that is a foot to two feet off the boards. Even Shannahan took chances. rnrnBut that's just the NHL we have today. No more hard hitting. They want more scoring, less hitting and no concussions? Perhaps they should start televising roller hockey. The league can have 17-15 goal games and all the fancy dekes and moves they want, with no one getting slammed into the boards. rnrnI'm not advocating dirty play. I never want to see a player hurt or injured. But this is a violent sport and injuries will happen. Hard hitting and tough play have always been part of the core and soul of hockey. I don't want to see the sport change, or lapses in defensive play because we're affording puck-carrying players less responsibility to protect themselves. If you can't stomach or don't like hard hits, don't watch hockey. Watch tennis. It's nice, high scoring and safe. rnrnAnd that's the motivation that has affected calls like the one on Seabrook. Don't drive potential squeamish fans away because of big, nasty hits. rnrnIt's a close call but the wrong one. And it cost Seabrook and the Blackhawks. How much? We'll see in game 3, and the rest of the series. rnrnrnThanks for reading!rnYour comments are welcome and appreciated!
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