After watching numerous replays of the Mike Mottau hit on Frans Nielsen (thanks to hockeyfights.com on youtube), I am very much looking forward to seeing how Colin Campbell handles this incident in light of the league's recent statement on hits to the head.
Mottau has two major things working against him. First, from both the front and rear views, he appears to be leading with the elbow. Second, the front view clearly shows that he has left his feet to deliver the hit.
Mottau also has two major things working for him. First, despite leading with the elbow, he doesn't land it. If the NHL's supplemental disciplinarian is using replays to evaluate the hit, he can focus on the fact that it looks like the actual impact was made with the forearm and hand. Second, it looks like the bulk of the hit was delivered to Nielsen's shoulder, chest, and neck. From the front view, it almost looks like Mottau pushed him over.
Of course, what it looks like isn't justification for anything. But if you're calling for a Thomas Pock treatment or worse, I'm just saying there's a lot of room for interpretation. And the Discipline-Islanders Islanders-Discipline dictionary has a spotty translation history. Can't you just hear the explanation that this hit, while deliberate and illegal, was not actually a blow to the head?
It's strange, though. The more I cast doubt on Mottau receiving appropriate disicpline, the more I am hopeful that this issue has finally evolved to the point that he will. Nielsen did suffer injuries and will miss time.
Thankfully, and most importantly, the injuries do not appear to be too serious. The worst injustice at this point is not being able to have Nielsen on the ice.