Friday, September 18, 2009

Morency Suspended, Phaneuf Not

Point Blank has the news that Pascal Morency has been suspended indefinitely for his role in the post Phaneuf hit action, ostensibly to keep him out of Saturday's rematch.

Via Kukla's Korner, Elliotte Friedman twitters that Dion Phaneuf will not be suspended for the crushing hit on Kyle Okposo last night because a review determined that the hit "wasn’t late, was not targeting head, did not launch or leave feet before collision."

So at least we have this week's explanation.

Here's a comment I made on the previous post that I want to "promote to the main page" (copyright Lighthouse Hockey):

...These things always come down to judgment and perception. I'm not so quick to dismiss the charge call. Rule 43.1 states:"Charging shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice.

"Stu Hackel of The New York Times estimates that Phaneuf lined up Okposo from 45 away. Stu's take on the incident is definitely worth a read.

So many want to assign blame to Okposo for having his head down. The sequence suggests that having his head down may have been an unforunate byproduct of the contact with Dawes. But, setting that aside, if Okposo is expected to be responsible for knowing where Phaneuf is on the ice, is it too much to ask for Phaneuf to be responsible for knowing where Okposo's head is when he hits him? And make every effort to take him off the puck without attempting to destroy him?

I'd like to further add that one of the reasons Islanders fans are so upset about this incident is that they know concussions are like a cat having nine lives, and Okposo just lost one of his lives. But the truth is, with concussions a hockey player doesn't really get nine lives; he may only get three or four. The thought of Okposo being on the road to the devastating effects of multiple concussions before his career has barely started is almost too much to bear.

By the way, when does the statute of limitations run out on comparing every neutral zone, questionable, skate-and head-shaking hit to Scott Stevens? What Stevens was able to do doesn't necessarily legitimize anything that any other player does today.

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