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"Inside the Stripes..."
Edmonton, AB • Canada • 22 Years Old • Male
I had a co-worker come up to me today an ask me if I saw the Tootoo hit last night. I told him that I had not, and he proceeded to get all excited, exclaiming that it was,

"Just like Downie!! Oh man it was the same thing again!!"

So I figured I should take a look myself to see what really happened. So I went to tsn.ca and watched the highlights from the Coyotes-Predators game from last night (where Gretzky's bunch handed the Preds a stunning 6-3 defeat). What I saw was Daniel Winnik coming out from behind the net, carrying the puck - a rookie with his head down - and getting popped. Was it a charge by Tootoo? Yes it was. Was it more than a minor penalty? In a peewee game yes, but in the NHL it's debatable.

So back to my co-workers comparison to Steve Downie. There are some major fundamental differences in what happened between Steve Downie's hit on Dean McAmmond, and Tootoo's hit on Winnik.

1. Winnik had the puck, McAmmond did not. And it can be argued that McAmmond did just get rid of the puck, but had Downie been paying any attention to the puck at all he would have known that. The game is about the puck, and all Downie was focused on there was obliterating Dean McAmmond. Was he trying to take his head off, I don't think so, but he was trying to hit him as hard as he could, he got a little carried away. As for Tootoo, like I said, Winnik had the puck, that is what you are supposed to do to the puck carrier (kind of - it still has to be clean).

2. Downie had decided from the second he got hit along the boards, that he was going to run somebody, Tootoo was just trying to spark his team after the game got a little on edge. Last night there had just been a fight, the game was getting a little tense, Tootoo wanted to lay the big hit, he saw a chance and he took it. Now again, he did take about 3 strides too many so it is most definitely a charge, but it was not like Downie who had him lined from nearly outside the blueline and just trucked right through him.

3. According to the NHL and all of their replays, Downie leaves his feet. To me, it was very close as to whether or not he really did jump into him, or if it was just after contact he went flying up in the air. He may have jumped an inch or two before contact, but the NHL has better replays I'm sure than what I get too see, and nice high definition screens and all that fancy stuff, so if they say he left his feet first, I'll take their word for it. But regardless of that, from what I saw last night Tootoo did not appear to leave his feet so that is another point for him over Downie, (Although I will be looking at that specifically a little later - I will post if I change my mind on him leaving his feet).

4. The point of contact in the Downie case was originally a shoulder to head, immediately followed by a follow through of an elbow to the head. Downie put his whole shoulder/elbow/arm into that hit and followed it through. Tootoo just had his shoulder down and hit him, unfortunately for Winnik his head was down, and it got clipped on Tootoo's shoulder. This was not Tootoo's intention on that play, if he wanted to take his head, you would have known it for sure, and Winnik would be in the hospital right now with a massive concussion.

So there are four major differences in why Steve Downie gets a 20 game suspension, and Jordin Tootoo in my opinion won't even get a review. Well, he might get a review and maybe a fine or short suspension. But if he does it may only be Colin Campbell sending a message to the rest of the league because of what has happened so far this season (Downie, Boulerice, Rypien, Sutton, etc). Tootoo would just be the unfortunate victim of that message.
Filed Under:   Downie   Tootoo   Predators   Coyotes  
October 12, 2007 1:47 PM ET | Delete
I haven't seen the hit Tootoo put on the Phoenix player, but I don't think that if he gets a suspension that he'll be a "victim" of any message that the league office is trying to send to the players. Tootoo is a repeat offender, and his reputation is starting to proceed him in these instances. It just so happens that this time, he laid someone out and then another player got their hands on him (that particular player should be punished as well, though).
October 12, 2007 2:13 PM ET | Delete
I just went to TSN and took a look at the Tootoo hit. I don't think he'll get anything close to what Downie got merely because he almost missed. IMO the intent was the same, and Tootoo raised up his shoulder at the last second indicating absolutely that he was targeting Winnik's head, he just didn't close the deal. Winnik turns slightly right before the hit, and is able to avoid most of the damage. Tootoo did not leave his feet, but really, when hitting a guy who has his head down, why does that matter?Good to see Winnik's teammate stand up for him and clothesline Tootoo though.
October 12, 2007 2:26 PM ET | Delete
i saw the tootoo hit live while watching my center ice package on digital cable. the hit was not even close to downie's. you make alot of great points in this blog. it was deff a charge, which was never called a penalty btw, but nothing less nothing more. as for the aftermath, tootoo is quite the actor. i loved the clothesline by the coyote player, and tootoo stayed down like he was shot. magically he arose after 5 minutes of rolling around on the ice. tootoo is one of those players you hate playing against but would love to have on your team. cheap agitator.
October 12, 2007 2:40 PM ET | Delete
Its on Youtube now. Here's the linkhttp://youtube.com/watch?v=_ym7Ii7lWY4I think its a borderline charge on Tootoo but nothing more. He was going pretty fast to nail that hit, but it looked like shoulder to shoulder, potentially shoulder to head but you can't quite tell. Judging by the skater's play afterwards I imagine it was rough shoulder to shoulder. Weller's reaction however is inexcuseable. You don't clothesline a guy. Bottom line.
October 12, 2007 3:52 PM ET | Delete
Oh my God. Tootoo barely grazed Widdig. He wasn't even fazed by the hit. Gimme a break. Tootoo's no angel, but in this instance, unless intent is the issue, there was no penalty.
October 12, 2007 4:05 PM ET | Delete
It should not be the end result, it's ridiculous that just because someone gets a concussion you get 20 games. You have to take everything as a whole. If Tootoo get's any less than Downie, 20 games, I'll be very disappointed.
October 12, 2007 4:39 PM ET | Delete
kyden, did you actually read what I had to say? The situations while maybe looking the same on the surface, are in fact quite different. The criteria for suspending necessary for a lengthy suspension are not present in this case. Winnik had the puck, Tootoo did not really leave his feet, he hit with the shoulder, and there was no significant injury (Winnik is fine). How could this possibly match the suspension of Downie? Mind you, I think Downie got a few games too many, I thought he may get 12 or 15 myself, but I am also OK with him getting the 20. It is unfortunate that your Flyers have a couple guys who can't control their tempers. They are going to have to learn, or pay the price.
October 13, 2007 10:38 AM ET | Delete
Campbell said Downie's hit met the four requirements for a stiff punishment on a blow to a player's head: the head was intentionally targeted; a player launched himself by leaving his feet to hit a player in the head area; the hit was delivered to an unsuspecting opponent; and the lateness of the hit.To me, Tootoo hit 3 of these four criterea.
October 13, 2007 1:25 PM ET | Delete
How did he make three/ It wasn't late, he didn't leave his feet, and how can you ascertain the intent when he clearly missed the head? Tootoo isn't going to get anything nor should he. Weller deserves SOMETHING but I can't believe the league just simply dismissed what he did as if it never happened. Its still a headshot, and he definitely clotheslined him. Who can argue that point?
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