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Blog Entry

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:44 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 8:58 pm
 
By: Adam Gretz

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang missed 20 games earlier this season with a concussion after he was hit by Montreal's Max Pacioretty (and then made a controversial return to that game, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime).

That's why it had to be scary for the Penguins to see him go down early in the first period of Wednesday's game in Dallas after a hit by Eric Nystrom.



Letang left the game and his night appears to be over. On the list of players the Penguins can't afford to lose, Letang's name is near the top as he is without a doubt their best defenseman and plays the most minutes in every situation.

Perhaps the most shocking thing to come as a result of the hit was NBC analyst Mike Milbury, who seems to usually favor on-ice anarchy, condemned the hit and argued during the first intermission that it should be worth at least a five-game suspension.

The league will certainly review it, as it does every play, and it's impossible to guess what, if anything, will come out of it. The argument for a suspension is that there's contact to the head and Nystrom took advantage of a vulnerable player. The argument against is that Letang put himself in that vulnerable position and the puck-carrier has just as much responsibility as the player delivering the hit. It should be interesting to see how the NHL interprets it.

Nystrom was issued a two-minute minor for roughing.

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Comments

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:23 am
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

Clean hit. Hockey is a contact sport, and the fastest, hardest hitting contact sport at that. In Nystroms defense, any player sensing an impact is going to brace themselves, and from the replay Nystrom was doing just that. Letang was in an unfortunate position, and took a glancing hit. Had Nystrom wanted to take him out Letang would have been carted off in a stretcher. I certainly hope the NHL doesn't add anything on to the two-minute roughing penalty, they are already calling these games close to the vest as it is. Where they should focus their attention is on cheap shot artist that skate right on the line of abuse. A couple of players come to mind, Chris Pronger (And I hope he doesn't come back), and Joe Thorton who always seem to dole out the cheap shots; a stick to the ribs, or an elbow during a scrum. I have no problem with intimidation, but these two clowns push it too far.



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:05 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

I also agree with ov8mvp. If you going to call that hit a penalty. Then you need to call the slash by Malkin.



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:03 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

If you stop it where Crosby=TB says at the 49 second mark, you see Letang leaning forward. Putting himself in a vulnerable position. If you stop at the 50 second mark, you can see Letang's chin on Nystrom's right tricep.

Nystrom then drags his arm through the check. You can see if you stop it at the end of the 50 second mark, that Nystrom's right arm is behind his back. If he is dragging his arm that loosely through a check, you can tell his main focus wasn't the head. If it was he would of keep his arm either tighter to his body or as in most cases make sure the forearm hits Letang.

Yes, Nystrom could of avoided Letang, but you are also taught to finish your checks. Just remember, this wasn't Detroit who would normally skate by and try to get back into the play.




Since: Feb 5, 2011
Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

I agree with . Should not have been a penalty, but I can understand why (in real time) the refs felt there was cause. Milbury is a hypocrite. He would have done the same thing or worse in his day, assuming he ever found himself in the right position to make that kind of play, which was rare indeed. I DVR every game so I don't have to listen to these 'expert analysts'. Especially Milbury.



Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:55 am
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

I was watching this game live and as soon as I saw this my first reaction was suspension. When they started showing the replays I changed my opinion and thought that shouldn't have even been a penalty.

Was there contact to the head? IMHO slight. The major blow was to the shoulder.

Did he raise his elbow/arm? No
Did he leave the ice? No
Did he take strides directly to him with intent? No. To me it looks as though he was going to the puck when Letang pushed the puck away then he turned for contact. If someoone wants to use the play the puck argument then the hit on Letang right before this should have been a penalty. He clearly hit Letang without ANY intent of touching the puck. That is hockey and that was a clean hit too.

There should be no suspension.


BTW if there was a penalty called on this, which in full speed with Letangs reaction I understand why; why wasn't one called on the two armed shove that put Brierre in to the boards head first? The officiating in the past for the NHL was bad. It is more inconsistant now than ever!       
;     



Since: Apr 11, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:34 am
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

no call on the slash by malkin...terrible!




Since: Feb 2, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:40 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

that hit should not even have been a penalty ..... The NHL  has gone soft  !!!



Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:49 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

***"This is a case of a very talented, intelligent, all-star defenceman putting himself in an incredibly bad spot. Reaching for the puck like he did left him incredibly vulnerable - and in a corner no less! If you watch this at regular speed it does look like Nystrom comes into the corner with the intent of obliterating Letang, however, once slowed down it would appear that his initial concern is the puck but he then realizes Letang's proximity and plays the body...and he does intent to play the body, his right arm stays at his side throughout the check - in fact, it would appear that it is his elbow that contacts Letangs chin (his elbow that is at the side of his body, not raised)"***


Blotto71 pretty much nailed it with this statement,.. If Letang see's Nystrom bearing down, probably dosent reach like he does..... Roenick shouldve kicked Milburys azz right on TV. 



Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

This is a case of a very talented, intelligent, all-star defenceman putting himself in an incredibly bad spot. Reaching for the puck like he did left him incredibly vulnerable - and in a corner no less! If you watch this at regular speed it does look like Nystrom comes into the corner with the intent of obliterating Letang, however, once slowed down it would appear that his initial concern is the puck but he then realizes Letang's proximity and plays the body...and he does intent to play the body, his right arm stays at his side throughout the check - in fact, it would appear that it is his elbow that contacts Letangs chin (his elbow that is at the side of his body, not raised).

My opinion as nothing more than a Letang fan (lucky enough to have him in a fantasy league), not suspendable. But that is not to say that the NHL hasn't entered dangerous territory. Early in the season Shanahan would have suspended Nystrom for 10 games - snap!! But now he appears to be looking for ways to soften his stance. A Bruins fan brought up the Turris hit on Corvo - and he isn't wrong to. I don't believe that it was a suspendable play, but I also don't know that it wasn't worthy of a major - teams getting 5min pp's might have more of an impact than suspensions. For sure coaches and fellow players would be much quicker to chastise offenders if they were constantly being forced to kill off 5min major penalties. Increasing the number of majors handed out - for a hit like this one, for instance - could go much further than immediately suspending the offender. It would also allow that "softening" Shanahan seems so intent upon. Still review the hits, and take into consideration the history of the player - and perhaps make a suspension automatic after a 2nd major for a hit that, while "legal", results in injury.
 



Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Kris Letang injured after Eric Nystrom hit

To my first post.... I had finger spasms resulting in premature posting (and what guy hasn't had that happen), I did not believe it to be a dive.



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