Tag:Rene Bourque
Posted on: December 19, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Rene Bourque gets two games for boarding Seabrook

By Brian Stubits

Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque was suspended two games by Brendan Shanahan on Monday for his boarding of Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook on Sunday night.

The hit came in the opening period of the game when Seabrook got stalled a little bit by the referee, losing the puck on the ref's skates. A moment later he was heading face first into the boards as a result of a Bourque check. Bourque was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit.

Seabrook left the game and didn't return, although the Blackhawks said it was more precautionary (we also heard that with Marc Staal and Sidney Crosby at points this season, so keep your fingers crossed, Chicago).

As is the case with most every suspension, the problem here is that Bourque delivers the hit squarely from behind, staring right at Seabrook's number. Every player in the NHL has to know by now that that is as good as a big red X -- don't hit!

One of the questionable parts about this hit was the role that Seabrook losing the puck in the referee's skates played. Shanahan explained why that didn't impact the decision.

"Seabrook loses control of the puck and then his stick makes contact with the skate of the referee," Shanahan said. "However, neither cause him to significantly turn his body immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit from Bourque. Despite the fact that Seabrook is looking back and to his right, Bourque continues his pursuit and finishes Seabrook high and forcefully from behind, driving Seabrook's head into the boards.

"Although losing the puck in the referee's feet may cause Seabrook to look back and might eventually cause him to turn, contact is made before he does. Seabrook is neither falling nor turning to any degree to absolve Bourque of responsibility."

Last night I had originally said that my call would be for no suspension as bad as the hit might have looked. Well I must have been tired because looking at the slow-motion replays, it does look pretty bad. I was sort of taking it for granted that Seabrook had turned back for the puck already, but as Shanny points out, he really hadn't turned yet.

Fair ruling?

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 10:55 pm
 

Rene Bourque ejected for boarding Brent Seabrook

By Brian Stubits

The fans of the Blackhawks were left holding their breath in the opening period of their 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. That's because star defenseman Brent Seabrook took a very rough and dangerous hit from Rene Bourque into the boards.

Seabrook stayed down on the ice for a few moments and was eventually helped to the locker room. He did not return in the game.

Bourque was given a five-minute major for boarding on the play as well as a game misconduct.

Before going any further, have a look at the hit.

The good news is that after the game, coach Joel Quenneville -- who picked up his 600th career win -- said that Seabrook appeared to be doing OK. "He seemed not bad after the game," Quennevill said. "We’ll know more [Monday]."

So for a player that has had a history with taking some rough head shots, that's very encouraging. More will come out on his status in coming days.

But of course the next order of business these days becomes questioning the legality of the hit that caused the injury and whether or not Brendan Shanahan will find it to be suspension worthy.

Like most, this one is very much debatable. The biggest issue is the fact that Seabrook is moving up the boards until he loses the puck and gets his stick stalled by the referee's skates, leading him to turn back and reach for the puck. That's when Bourque came in with the hit.

In the end, Bourque does deliver a hit to the numbers of an opponent. But he has a pretty good case here that he committed to the hit before Seabrook reached back and that Seabrook's change of position immediately prior to the hit led to it being dangerous. Plus, when discussing intent as Shanahan often does, it seems to be judging by Bourque's reaction immediately after the hit shows it wasn't his intent to hurt. It makes me uneasy trying to figure out what a player's intention is in these cases, but it's something Shanahan considers.

What we do know is that the hit is going to be reviewed closely by the NHL. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a suspension levied, but personally I'd err on the side of no suspension if it were my call. What's your take?

More NHL Discipline News Here

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

 
 
 
 
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