Sunday, January 2, 2011

Video: Steckel Levels Crosby; Clean, Accidental Hit or Blindside Head Shot?

At the end of the second period of the Winter Classic tonight Capitals forward David Steckel collided with Sidney Crosby sending Crosby down to the ice where he would remain momentarily and would then be looked at on the bench.  The hit has sparked a debate that seems to depend on where you stand on Sidney Crosby in general as to what you thought of the hit.  Those who hate him want to make David Steckel the early favorite for man of the year in 2011 and those who love Crosby want him strung up for being a dirty player.  Before my take, let's watch some video.

Here's the hit from the NBC and CBC views:



After looking at both videos the NBC one definitely looks worse as from that angle you cannot see what the intent of Steckel was and see Crosby tumble.  On the CBC video, especially the second one it appears that the contact is made as Steckel is actually trying to avoid Crosby and get up the ice to follow the play.  Either way there definitely appears to be some contact between the shoulder pads of Steckel and the head of Crosby on the play, but with his arms down and no intent I do not see the league doing anything about it even though it in actuality is a hit from the blind side.

More amazing to me was that no Penguin really did anything about it after it initially happened as we have seen a lot of retaliation plays in the NHL this season for clean hits on far less important players to the teams involved.