Wilson deserves a suspension

Many people can call me a homer, and they'd be absolutely right, but one thing I'm not is a hypocrite. If you haven't heard yet Wilson's hit on Ethan Moreau is going to be looked at by the league. I've tirelessly argued for suspension for guys who launch themselves into other players and in this case Wilson did launch himself into Moreau, and deserves a suspension. If you haven't seen, or don't remember, the hit here it is:



He's going to get one for all the wrong reasons, and here's why he'll get one:

a) Moreau is one of EDM's best players, Wilson isn't one of Colorado's.
b) Moreau was injured on the play with a concussion.

So when the NHL suspends him Avs fans can be (justifiably) angry at the NHL because of the double standard that's more than obvious in these cases. This hit is clearly less malicious and dangerous (and less illegal) than the Paneuf on Okposo preseason hit.

That being said, the hit is still dangerous and part of a problem in the game. Wilson was jumping into Moreau (even if his feet were on the ice at the moment of the hit). He was using his legs to drive upwards into Moreau, and that's dangerous (and in my opinion charging). Yes Moreau's head was down, but that doesn't give Wilson (or any hitter) Carte Blanche to hit in a careless manner.

Now I don't think Wilson was trying to hurt Moreau, just land a big hit. I don't view these hits as dirty, but more as careless. The reason they are occurring so often is because they are accepted in hockey, and that's the biggest problem. Wilson has learned to hit like this since he was a tyke, and he could have easily achieved the same result (from a play perspective) by driving his legs forward and putting his shoulder into Moreau's chest, yet he used his legs as a springboard (a small one compared to other hits I've analyzed in the past.) and that, to me, is the error in this and many other hits.

16 comments:

  1. I think he might have left his feet a little and maybe deserves a game but people keep saying he got the elbow up which he didn't. http://img188.imageshack.us/i/photoxm.jpg/

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  2. @ Bridges: fixed.

    Weston: I'm certainly not calling for a long suspension (I thought it was pretty mild) but a 1-gamer is probably the right amount.

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  3. I wasn't arguing at all. The hit was a perfect example of your blog after the Phaneuf hit where his body went up through the head rather than straight across. I just keep hearing people like Hradek talk about Wilson's elbow to the head which has been frustrating me cause it clearly didn't. When he gets his suspension i'm going to be pissed if I see anything in the statement from the NHL about an elbow.

    Has anyone heard any word on Foote or Liles cause if both are still injured and Wilson gets suspended, the Avs only have 5 D for tonights game.

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  4. right after i posted that comment I read that Liles and Galiardi are playing tonight.

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  5. @ Weston agree. I don't think the elbow was there... I should update the post with that picture, but I am too busy right now. I will later

    Thanks

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  6. I did see him lift his body into the hit, but do not think there should be a suspension. You hit the nail on the head when you said that these hits are accepted in the NHL which is wrong. I think that the NHL is probably going to have to face should open ice hits be allowed in the game yes or no? I don't want to see it come to that but I am seeing more and more of these kinds of hits on a more regular basis.

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  7. Players are taught from a young age to use the point of their shoulder as a spear into the opposing player's chest and to explode upwards from their legs into the hit. Hockey Canada's four step checking model spells that out pretty explicitly. How is that different from what Wilson did? Charging rules are to make sure that the playeyr delivering the hit is using the force from his legs, not the ballistic force of his body in flight. That's why there's no charge unless the hitter leaves the ice first.

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  8. @ Ryan:

    That's the absurdity of it, players are being taught to do something that is unnecessarily violent and dangerous to the person being hit, which also has the added bonus of being more likely to result in a hit to the head. When driving the shoulder straight forward would accomplish everything without being a hit to the head.

    And the fact that if he leaves the ice first or not is ridiculous. the split second before he leaves the ice is a completely legal hit, and the split second afterward is suspend able? That's absurd on too many levels.

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  9. I'm not a doctor, but it seems there might be entirely valid reasons why the long-standing procedures for body checks include assuming a low center of gravity and driving upwards from the legs with the point of the shoulder. Reasons that deal with not damaging the shoulder and keeping your balance through the entire hit. I have difficulty imagining that twelve year olds are taught to hit with the goal of hurting the other player in mind.

    The split second doesn't make a difference, but that's not the spirit of the rule. The spirit is to keep from adding the ballistic force of a 200 lb man to the hit.

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  10. I'm not a doctor, but it seems there might be entirely valid reasons why the long-standing procedures for body checks include assuming a low center of gravity and driving upwards from the legs with the point of the shoulder.

    From a purely physics point of view (which is my specialty, I've got a M.S. in Physics) doing this inflicts the most force on the recipient.

    The split second doesn't make a difference, but that's not the spirit of the rule. The spirit is to keep from adding the ballistic force of a 200 lb man to the hit.

    Exactly, but that ballistic force is applied when you drive upwards into the body, regardless of whether you've left the ground or not. For example, the space shuttle puts out a ton of force before ever leaving the ground.

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  11. Apparently he won't get suspended.
    http://blogs.denverpost.com/avs/2009/11/20/liles-and-galiardi-back-tonight-and-no-suspension-for-wilson/

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  12. Huge Av's fan here. I was watching the game on Altitude. Replays did show it was indeed an elbow up and one foot came up, the other one would have but contact was made before he was completely air-born. Peter McNabb always has lots to say about the leagues' stance (or lack there of) on such hits, but he got a bit quiet about complaining because it was an Av player this time. Yes, it was a high hit, and yes, unfortunately, he deserves some sort of discipline... There has been MUCH worse out there though as we all know. Oh Well - welcome to the NHL.

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  13. Moreau one of Edmonton's best players, you heard it here first folks!

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  14. 1) We've been watching nHL hockey for a tad over 40 years and can't recall there being such an issue 15 or so years ago.
    Is it that players are that much faster/bigger than in the past?
    Are players less conscious about keeping their heads up?
    2) We may be in a minority but as long as a player doesn't leave his feet/use his elbow we're fine with such hits.

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