What’s a guy gotta do to become a premier hitter in the NHL ? I guess play for the Leafs or Red Wings. Okay that’s a little off; I don’t actually think that Brendan Shanahan has that sort of bias when it comes to his job, but it would sure look that way when you consider who gets suspended for a certain hit and who doesn’t.
Niklas Kronwall, who I like and is a great hitter, clearly leaves his feet during many of his bone-crushing checks. Luke Schenn let’s Tomas Vincour come down his trolley tracks a couple weeks ago and clearly leaves his feet to deliver a rather high check, one that left proof on Vincour’s face of some elbow to head contact, yet not even a slap on the wrist. Most of Kronwall’s checks, as well as Schenn’s check on Vincour, are almost exact to what Mark Fistric was suspended for yesterday and likely a little worse.
Last Saturday night in Dallas, Mark Fistric backs up as the Islanders Nino Niederreiter skates directly down his trolley tracks, then times a perfectly clean check in to Niederreiter’s shoulder, and gets three games for what Shanahan labels “charging”. Brendan Shanahan. He also claims that Fistric was too high off his feet for his liking. The “charging” description is completely off base considering the following:
1. Fistric is moving backwards prior to the check, like you see most defensemen do while the opposing team is attacking.
2. He takes not even one stride towards Niederreiter, but rather angles himself at the last second to make the check.
3. Primary contact is with Niederreiter’s shoulder.
4. Fistric’s feet are planted as contact is made, as you can clearly see in the picture. The upwards motion immediately after is caused by the impact and as anyone who’s played hockey knows, you explode in to your check. Shanahan admits this, but claims Fistric’s feet are just too high for his liking. Yet his feet only left the ice after contact is made and the reason for them being as high as they were was strictly due to the force of the impact between the two players.
So basically the suspension is for Fistric hitting Niederreiter just a little too hard and timing his hit just a little too perfect.
I guess this is the new NHL. I guess the message Mark Fistric is getting from Shanahan is to stand completely still and wait for the player to come to if you want to deliver a check, and don’t forget to put as little force behind it as possible. Is that about right Mr.Shanahan ? Is that the NHL you’re creating here ?
Now I’m not about to compare my hockey resume to Brendan Shanahan’s, but I have played all my life and what Fistric did was exactly the way you’re taught to deliver a clean check.
You’re completely wrong with this one Brendan. 100%.
Also in Stars happenings, Krys Barch was dealt to the Florida Panthers yesterday along with a 2012 6th round pick for 23 year old minor league player Jake Hauswirth and a 2012 5th round pick. Barch is in his 6th NHL season, all with the Stars, but has only managed to play in ten games so far this season. With the Stars adding more depth in the off season, he just couldn’t find a regular spot in the lineup. He should get more of a chance in Florida to display his scrappy style of play.
About the Author
Written by Travis Currie
Im your typical sports fan. Just a little more crazy about it. I live and die for my teams and I drive my girlfriend nuts. I consider myself the world's biggest Stars fan. Ive been a fan since I was a young kid going back to the mid 80's. Favourite Stars player of all-time is of course Mike Modano. Favourite non-Stars player of all-time is Peter Stastny. I love talking sports so please leave a reply to anything you agree or disagree with. If youd like to contact me my email is firstname.lastname@example.org