: Injury Report:
Shea Weber - Concussion - day-to-day (video)
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12-29-2011, 12:09 PM
I taught Yoda
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Some Army fort
Originally Posted by
It doesn't matter where the players head is, if the stick hits a players face while that player is on the ice, it is still called high sticking. If a player is bent over and gets whacked in the face with a stick, it's still high sticking. High sticking has nothing to do with where the players head is but where the stick is. Why should the same thing not apply to an elbow and a guys head? I have read what you said on this in multiple posts and while your points are valid, if the NHL is trying to clean up head shots and concussions, this has to be looked at. Guys need to be accountable no matter where the guys head is. If a guy turns to the boards at the last minute and gets creamed, there is a boarding call now. Why shouldn't a guy be protected if he's in a vulnerable position?
I love big hits as much as the next guy but when guys are going down left and right because of them, one of two things is happening. 1. Guys don't respect the other players anymore. 2. The NHL is not protecting it's players. And while I'm at it, 3. The equipment, kevlar elbow pads, are being used as weapons. Teamed with the speed of the game, tell me it's not coincidence that guys aren't getting hurt because of this?
The only way to eliminate all contact to the head from checking is to eliminate checking. Period. There will always be unfortunate occurrences where a player gets hit above the shoulders as long as there is hitting. Players turn and what starts as a body check ends up a shoulder to the head .. players start to fall and the head gets involved ... body to body hits result in one guy's head bouncing off the glass or boards. All of those involve the head so which should be suspension worthy and which not? Do you wait to see if a guy is concussed or whistle it the instant any head involvement occurs? Therein lies just some of the problem set when saying any contact involving the head = response X.
This is a relatively normal play that has a bad outcome so of course the initial knee-jerk reaction is to call for suspension. Can you see that a guy is moving from relatively upright to a vulnerable position and change your path in 1/10 - 1/4 of a second? I sure as hell can't. All three of these images are within 1/4 second of each other ... Shea starts good, skates get out in front of him, impact (bicep at Shea's face height, hip at chest level ... from a guy 2" shorter than Weber). Honestly, the more probable concussive impact is when Weber's head hits the ice, not the initial hit itself. Human bodies give and absorb some impact, his head bounces hard off of the ice with zero absorption of any force by anything besides his melon.
And while we're all discussing this one hit we overlook the hit on Ryder earlier in that same game. Hit into a stanchion at the end of the bench, head bounces off the curved glass. No injury = great play in our book when in reality that was at least as dangerous of a play as the hit on Weber. Both hits involved head contact (Weber's with Fistric's arm ... Ryder's with the curved stanchion), both players skated away from it and continued to play, both players showed no ill effects Friday after the game. The only way prevention works is if dangerous hits are called every time. Waiting for a guy to get hurt, then calling something on ice or waiting for Shannahan does no good.
I agree with you on the equipment. It's not just the pads which are now weapons quality (if I could fit the elbow pads under my uniform I'd wear them while deployed). The helmets continue to suck. The league would be smart if they partnered with the Canadian and US military health services who have been researching traumatic brain injury for years. It's going to take a total redesign of the headgear to come up with something that can take the impact of a puck, absorb and dissipate concussive force, and remain wearable while playing.
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