If anyone has seen highlights of the Stanley Cup Finals or were watching last night you surely know about the incident on the ice involving Nathan Horton. You can see the video at Deadspin.com until it is taken down by the powers that be.
As I said on twitter last night the hit was a vicious hit that seemed to me be unwarranted. Also in breaking down the replays; Aaron Rome left the ice, targeted the head and made contact to the blind side of Horton. Not only was this a violation of Rule 48, but it is blatant disrespect for another player.
Later in the game it was reported that Horton had movement in all extremities, which is a good sign, but if you look at the film you will notice that he exhibited the Fencing Response, and was unresponsive for a few seconds. These are classic and cardinal signs of a concussion. The Taunton Daily Gazette has reported that perhaps Horton will be out the remainder of the Finals;
While no further update on Horton’s condition was released (he was expected to remain overnight at MGH), it’s almost impossible to see him playing again this year, even if the series stretches to a seventh game a week from Wednesday. The Canucks, already without one defenseman (Dan Hamhuis, undisclosed injury), could lose Rome for a while, too, but Horton (8 playoff goals – three of them winners, with a pair in Game 7s and two in overtime) is a more difficult asset to replace.
That assumption early this morning has been confirmed as Horton will be out the remainder of the series with a concussion.
Also, Rome has been suspended 4 games by the NHL. Any games not served during the Stanley Cup will have to be served in the season next fall..
I understand your thinking here but I feel like this is another instance where we react because a guy got hurt. It is definitely hard to see a guy get so severely hurt and luckily he is not paralyzed but I think we are overreacting to this one too. If Horton gets up then it’s a 2 minute interference penalty and no one is talking about this right now. The recent Buster Posey incident is somewhat the same. This wasn’t legal because it was a late hate, unlike the Posey incident, but the concept is similar. I just don’t think the hit is quite as bad as so many people seem to be making it out to be. The NHL has seen far worse hits that haven’t warranted in any suspension so I’m confused yet again. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/significant-injury/
Chris, I have visited your blog, I like it and respect and even agree on some points. I don’t think we have over reacted to the hit, if you look through the blog you will see we have been fairly consistent on the needless hits. This particular hit was what Rule 48 was made for. Even if Horton was face forward he had nanoseconds to react. Hits like these are unnecessary, see our post about the Charra/Pacioretty hit…
Equating the Posey injury is a difficult matter, if you go by the rules it was clean, and even if you were to get to the letter of the rules Posey was actually at fault, as he was obstructing the plate.
Whether the head was the actual target or not, it was hit first, and the fact that Horton was not braced for the hit made his head vulnerable to the contact on the ice as well.
I too am confused by the NHL, I have been on their case ALL year about this and other things. If head contact is removed from the game we will see far less of this type of injury, and it wouldn’t change the game as many other leagues have adopted the rule.
Chris, I would consider this a significant hit and one that definitely warranted a suspension. Regardless of whether a player got hurt or not, this was a dangerous play and one that should be avoided at all costs. There is no need for it in hockey, in football, baseball– whatever.
Oops.. typo there at the beginning..
And I have to agree with what Dustin is saying. He and John have been on top of it all year in both the NFL and NHL incidents. Injury or no injury, a hit like this is more than reason for penalty.