Hockey World Blog

Penguins Go After Nystrom After Letang Hit- When Will Head Shots Stop?

Two consecutive days, two controversial hits to the head. When will this s*it crap end? We all know hockey is a dangerous sport and players will bang their head on the ice or have freak collisions like the one below and the one posted earlier today. This time around it involved a team missing the face of not only their franchise but the entire league because of concussion-like symptoms.

This isn’t going to be another Sidney Crosby post, but rather an example of a play that was made on the ice and a review of what the officials called in the heat of the moment.What was seen in tonight’s Pittsburgh-Dallas game was a collision between Eric Nystrom and Kris Letang.

Letang of Pittsburgh, already suffered one concussion this season at the hands of Max Pacioretty. And for those keeping score at home, it was Pacioretty who was on the receiving end of a nasty injury at the hands of Zdeno Chara March 8, 2011 where Pacioretty suffered a concussion and a fractured vertebra. It appears to be one long chain of several wrongs trying to make a right.

After watching the hit, I don’t blame every player who was on the ice for the Pens going after Nystrom. With what already happened previously to Letang and Crosby, they have had enough of the head shots and appear to take things into their own hands. Don’t be surprised if a line brawl occurs after a hit of this magnitude before Gary Bettman hands someone the Stanley Cup in June.

From playing the greatest game on ice for close to 20 years now, I understand how physical it  gets as I suffered what I can now say was a concussion 10 years ago during a collision at the net. If that happened to me now, I would have been pulled out of the game and maybe held out of practices. But because it was before concussions became spoken out of parents and coaches mouths more often than ESPN mentions Jeremy Lin during SportsCenter, nothing was done as I simply shook it off and continued to play goalie.

All in all, I hope Brendan Shanahan and the league takes a good, hard look at this hit by Nystrom and will issue some sort of disciplinary action. Midway through the first period, Nystrom appeared to hit Letang in the chest or shoulder. This sent him straight to the ice. He left the game, and the Penguins announced early in the second period that he would not return. Nystrom was called for a two-minute roughing penalty on the play. While it looked like a freak accident where Letang was at the wrong place at the wrong time, it sure did not look pretty to the naked eye.

Check out the video below and feel free to share your opinion.


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