Have you ever been elbowed in the face so violently that you just start bleeding all over the place? Odds are you haven’t, and for that, you should be enormously thankful; there can’t be many worse experiences than getting your world wrecked like Detroit’s Jiri Hudler did last night.
The hit came courtesy of Anaheim’s Mike Brown, who awaits his fate from the league office. You’d think that such wanton facial carnage, especially since it had nothing to do with the play (as you’ll see in the video after the break), would carry significant suspension time, but that’s not entirely certain.
Okay, now that you’ve watched Hudler get absolutely ruined, are you ready to talk suspension? As PUCK DADDY explains, that’s not a foregone conclusion:
During these playoffs, the NHL has issued suspensions in various situations and not only in cases of actual injury. For Brown, the issue is intent to injure; the game misconduct would indicate the referee felt the hit entered into that territory. But watching the play in real time, it can also be seen as a hard open ice hit on a player who recently had the puck — with some unfortunate aesthetic results.
Oh, and lest we ever forget, Karma is one nasty bitch, and she frowned on the Ducks for such bloodthirst. On the ensuing power play, the Red Wings would tie the game at 1; better yet, that goal ended up being the margin of victory in a 3-2 win. Hudler would end up returning to the game later and should be fine for Game 2, whereas Brown may not see another minute of ice time, depending on what the league decides.
So what do you decide? You saw the hit; was it clean or dirty?