Blog Entry

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

Posted on: September 28, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 12:31 am
By: Adam Gretz

Thanks to Wednesday's preseason game between Chicago and Detroit, which the Blackhawks won 4-3, Brendan Shanahan has yet another hit to look at and decide if the hammer once again needs to dropped.

With the game tied, 3-3, early in the third period, Chicago's Ben Smith carried the puck into the offensive zone and tried to cut across the middle of the ice. At that point Detroit's Brendan Smith, who is fighting for a roster spot, connected on a hit that resulted in his ejection from the game (as well as a match penalty), while Smith was clearly shaken up and needed assistance in getting off the ice.  According to Rule 48, the Match Penalty can be issued if the referee, "in his judgement, feels the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head."

Here's the video:

Was the head the principal point of contact? Was the head targeted? Did the puck-carrier put himself in that position, making it impossible for the defender to avoid the contact? These are the questions that Shanahan will have to answer when it comes to handing out any potential discipline.

According to Chicago Sun Times reporter Adam Jahns, via Twitter, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said the referees said it's the type of hit that is trying to be taken out of the game. Again, from Jahns: "Both referees said that's a classic example of what we're talking about, that's the illegal hit. It's pretty black & white"

Here's what Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock had to say following the game:
"I don't doubt his shoulder hit his head. Is there any responsibility on the puck-carrier, toe-dragging, sliding sideways, to look after himself? Is there or no? It doesn't appear like there is anymore, is there? You come across the middle toe-dragging like this (has head down, looking at puck), jumping up, and you get dinged ... and I'm not saying our guy isn't guilty, because the shoulder hit his head ... you better not put yourself in those situations is what I would say. There will be a video report on it tomorrow, I'm sure."
Chris Neil avoided a suspension for a play that involved Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski on Tuesday night. We should find out soon enough whether or not Smith can as well. Based on the comments from Quenneville, it's not looking good for him.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:22 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:41 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

I'm not sure how this is going to change the game but it is definately going to change it.  I doubt in this case the Wings player was trying to hit the forward in the head.  He was trying to stop the Blackhawk player from finshing has move and walking in on net.  The Hawk player was bent over making his head low.  It was a judgement call that I think Shannahan made the right ruling on and said the Wings player could have avoided the hit to the head.  I'm willing to bet there are a lot of these calls this year until the playoffs and they let them do whatever they want depending on the player.  I think it is also going to be a much tougher game for the taller defensmen of the league since they will need to get really low to avoid these penalties when players no longer have to keep their heads up.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:27 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

Doesn't matter the intent, doesn't matter what Ben Smith is doing.  It's a shoulder to head hit...the exact type of hit and ensuing concussion the NHL is trying to prevent.

The first part of your above post is wrong, the last part is right on.  Where you're wrong is when you said intent doesn't matter, intent plays a huge part in how long suspensions are these days.  Just listen to Shanahan describe the hits and his reasoning and you'll see intent is huge, and of course the offenders reputation and if he's a repeat offender matters a lot as well.

The last part of your post is 100 percent correct, the NHL is desperately trying to do something about these hits and in my opinion they are off to a good start.

My guess is because there didn't appear to be intent to injure and it's Smith's first offence, he'll let him off with a 2 game suspension.... but if he does it again in the future they'll crack down on him in a big way. 

Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:39 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

Definitely a hit to the head. Hopefully your Smith is alright. Looks like our Smith will be missing a couple games which will ultimately cost him the potential roster spot he's fighting for. Bummer, cause I've been wanting to get a chance to see this kid play since we drafted him a couple years ago

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2011 8:53 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

I agree that there was no intent to injur and that he didn't have the body behind the hit, but there was a bit of arm follow through. Either way, an unfortunate incident.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2011 7:56 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

Just a normal hockey move with a toe drag hesitate let the guys momentum take him by then go.
unfortunately when he seen he was beat he tried his best to make contact sorta like an Offensive lineman in the NFL knowing he is beat and taking down the Defensive guy and hoping the Ref doesn't see it. It wasn't an attempt to injure and he didn't have his body behind the hit driving him into the ice.
Hard call for Shanahan to make.      

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2011 5:52 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

Puck carrier head down and carves back to the middle, defenseman trying to get back to break up the break away
His head wasn't down

This didn't deserve a game misconduct at all.
I believe it did, and should get called every time it happens

 Its impossible sometimes not to have head contact.
That is an absolutely ridiculous statement.

Its the same argument in the NFL, to people moving fast, one aims for the chest, the other know he's about to get hit shifts his body to minimize the impact gets his head in the way.
This is clearly not what happened here.

I was at this game, and at first appeared to have been worse seeing it in person. He was down for more than a couple of minutes and needed help just to sit up. A few mental lapses but I think the Hawks played a pretty slid game. Hossa needs to get his legs back, I thought he was laboring a bit.

Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2011 5:13 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

Well stated. Have to agree 100% w/ your take on this one hockeybob.  It's going to be an entertaining and challenging season.

Since: Oct 8, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2011 4:10 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

I'm not going to defend Brendan on this one. The hit was illegal and a bad, bone-headed play on the part of #2 in white. As others here have said, the intent to injure was not there. But regardless Quenville is correct. This is exactly the type of play that the league is trying to rid itself of. I hope Ben will be OK in the near future. I have no doubt that there will be supplementary discipline resulting from this.

Since: May 26, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2011 1:55 pm

Video: Brendan Smith hit on Ben Smith

I saw the hit "live" on Comcast SportsNet last night.

They showed three different angles of the hit on Ben Smith.

No matter how you slice and dice it, Brendan Smith hits Ben Smith in the head with his shoulder, knocking him unconscious.  After crunching to the ice, his face skids on the ice for a few yards and he then laid motionless prone on the ice until the medical staff could attend to him.  He was out cold.

When he did get up on his knees, with the aid of the medical staff, Ben Smith had that glassy eyed look that you usually see in the faces of boxers who just "had their bell wrung"...aka a standing eight count.  Believe me, Ben Smith had NO idea where he was at that time.

Getting him off the ice required two staffers to prop and hold him up.  These are all classic concussion symptoms.

Doesn't matter the intent, doesn't matter what Ben Smith is doing.  It's a shoulder to head hit...the exact type of hit and ensuing concussion the NHL is trying to prevent.

My guesstimate...4 game suspension for a first time offender.  Next offense, eight gamer.

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