Hard hits are one of the reasons fans love hockey. In the recent release by NHL.com, The Top 10 Hits of 2013, these hits are glorified by the sport “clean hard checks”. The hit that Justin Abdelkader put on Toni Lydman of the Ducks during game three of the Stanley Cup playoffs is as good and clean as any of the checks showcased on NHL.com.
In his video explanation of the Abdelkader suspension, NHL Director of Player safety Brendan Shanahan classified charging as skating a great distance to make the check and leaving the feet to make significant contact to the head. In the NHL’s top ten video nearly every hit meets this criteria.
The only reason the Justin Abdelkader was suspended for the hit is because it in happened in the Playoffs. Had this been the regular season it probably would have been included in the Top 10 hits video. If the referee wants to call charging that’s fine. But they shouldn’t have given a game misconduct. Doing so affectively suspended Abdelkader for 3 games.
Check out the NHL Top 10 Hits of the Season Video and judge for yourself. Keep an eye on each players feet and how nearly every player finishes by raising their arms.
After seeing that video tell us what you think.