EXPLODE THROUGH THE CHECK

Lowetide
November 03 2012 08:06AM

Photo courtesy Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

The future of the Edmonton Oilers was on display last night. Taylor Hall was cleared to play, scored a goal early and the Barons won. However, the game didn't completely follow the script and Hall may be facing a suspension.

LETS GO TO THE VIDEO 

The first 12 seconds of this video (courtesy Neal Livingston from Tend the Farm) are the story this morning. I've read a lot of online stuff suggesting it was a charge--I thought he took two strides, waited a heartbeat and then two more before the hit--and have also read that he targeted the head.

I'm no expert and these eyes aren't what they used to be, but I think Hall hit him with his shoulder and it looked like the impact on Brodin was also shoulder. That's my take, and as mentioned the internet has other views (I invite you to share your views too). The one thing I believe is dangerous--and all players seem to do this know--is the explosion through the man when Hall hits him. That's how they coach it, right?

ON A LARGER SCALE

If you were offended by the hit, or are uncomfortable with your young Oilers being placed in a negative light, you may not like the next few seasons. The Oilers of 2012-20 are going to have that physical element and Oilers Nation should embrace it (in my opinion). I'm not suggested a Sean Connery "if they send one of yours to the hospital, send one of theirs to the morgue" mentality, but the bottom line is this a physical game and the Oilers have not been able to deliver that element in the past on their skill lines.

And it doesn't mean you have to be ten feet tall--Milan  Lucic has a teammate named Brad Marchand who is 5 feet nothing and an extreme pain in the ass.

Last night, two of the best young Wild prospects were hurt against the Oilers farm team. I take no pleasure in it, in fact its a damn shame and if that happened to the Oilers there'd be a lot of anger among Oiler fans today.

I get that. I understand it.

However, too many times over the last many seasons Edmonton has responded to physical intimidation with no pushback and a leaky powerplay. This current group can kill you on the powerplay and give you some trouble in the alley.

There's nothing wrong with it. Nothing.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

You never want a player to be injured, but its also true that hockey has a lot of violence in it--that's in the rules of the game. Hall's hit wasn't late to my eye, I do not think he charged Brodin, and as mentioned it looked like shoulder to me. If he gets suspended, I believe "check through the man and explode on your check"--which is coached into these kids from what I understand--is the culprit. The video posted here courtesy of Neal Livingston isn't conclusive, but from what we see its pretty hard to give a suspension to a player with no history of head hunting. That and $5 will get you a cup of coffee.

Bottom line: I'm sorry Brodin got hurt, but don't believe Taylor Hall did anything wrong or outside the rules of the game. If I stand alone, that's fine too. The Edmonton Oilers of 2012-20 are going to be hell to play against. This fan thinks it is about time.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 mayorpoop
November 03 2012, 08:17AM
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how could anyone really tell with that top quality production the AHL is putting to TV. that being said, the refs hopefully got it wrong. don't think Taylor is that kind if player. Oh and first.

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#2 n0f00ln
November 03 2012, 08:17AM
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Fist! WOOOOOOOHAAAA!

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#3 n0f00ln
November 03 2012, 08:18AM
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Boo..

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#4 bsmart
November 03 2012, 08:20AM
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it was a nice hit too bad he was injured

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#5 John Chambers
November 03 2012, 08:33AM
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It is better to give than to receive.

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#6 Milli
November 03 2012, 08:37AM
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Great hit and sounds like a helluva first game for T Hall!I'll be wearing my jersey Jan 11 and 12 for our back to back OKC Barons games and can't wait!

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#7 T.C.
November 03 2012, 08:40AM
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A couple of things: 1 the audio/video last night was athousand times better than it usually is .didn't mind paying for that one.2 I think the call on hall was wrong didn't look out of line at all.3 the barons played like S*** last night.

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#8 Chirp26
November 03 2012, 08:45AM
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How about the display of skill zharkov put on last night

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#9 Dipstick
November 03 2012, 08:51AM
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I hope that the review shows that the head was not targeted. I hope both Brodin and Granlund recover quickly. What happened to them last night is my worst nightmare for our prospects.

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#10 fuzzy muppet
November 03 2012, 09:07AM
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It doesn't help that Brodin lunges in at the last second.

It's not charging when two players are racing for a lose puck. Brodin barely beats him there and put himself in an awkward position.

It's unfortunate he got injured, but I'd hardly classify it as "dirty"

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#11 RexLibris
November 03 2012, 09:10AM
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There was an interview with MacGregor a while ago where somebody (yourself or Stauffer, perhaps) asked him if he was worried about some of the hits Marincin was delivering at the World Juniors and in the WHL.

I may be misremembering here, I think it was Marincin, but the gist of the questioning was "are you worried about player X playing too dangerously, taking penalties for roughing and such? MacGregor's response was something to the effect of "I don't there's anything wrong with that".

MacGregor's response told me that one architect of this team believes that initiating rough play, and taking the physical game to the opponent, even on occasion inadvertently causing injury, isn't a bad thing for a team with a high level of skill.

I don't want to see Brodin or Granlund injured, but to be perfectly frank, the Wild seemed to have no reservations handing out a butt-kicking to our smaller skill player(s) for years (Boogaard, Clutterbuck, et al) so a little bit of turnaround is to be expected.

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#12 Truth
November 03 2012, 09:11AM
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Brodin looks to be reaching and therefore places himself in a vulnerable position. Considering that he probably noticed it was Hall coming at him he was not too concerned about being lit up like that he felt that would be alright. Hall will probably get suspended for hitting Brodin in a vulnerable position which resulted in his injury, but this is a case where Brodin should be anticipating a check. The old it's not a hit from behind if the guy turns.

Love the aggressiveness though. Hall is most often compared to Messier. What would Messier have done? That hit would be a blatant elbow targeting the head and then he would have probably 2 handed and pummeled the first guy to disagree. In summary, a shoulder to shoulder check resulting in injury should be fine, but today's NHL is not like it used to be. I'm guessing 2 games.

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#13 Guy Lafleur
November 03 2012, 09:24AM
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I loved the hit , gotta admire Hall getting his nose dirty right away and testing his shoulder also .Hall is gonna play the way he plays he goes to the dangerous areas to score goals and he plays with reckless abandon , its what he is .I would rather have the bull than another soft perimeter player ..love HALL and looks like the shoulder is fine ..bonus!!!

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#14 Vaclav
November 03 2012, 09:29AM
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By no means am I suggesting that I'm pleased that two of Minnesota's top prospects are injured. But after years of watching the Wild's goon squad (RIP Boogeyman) physically intimidate and manhandle the Oilers skill players it's nice to see things go the other way.

The Oilers need to get back to being a tough team to play against... particularly in their own barn. Make other teams dread playing a fast, physical Oilers squad.

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#15 PerryK
November 03 2012, 09:33AM
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LT,

I posted the following at your blog:

"There is a video of the Hall hit at the Wilderness site. I hadn’t seen it anywhere else. After viewing it slowly backwards and forwards, it seems that Brodin was lost in space a little bit just before the hit. Some one reversed the puck off the right boards to behind the net. Brodin had the opportunity to make a play on it but chose to let it go to his d partner; who must have yelled at him because he didn’t have a stick! So now Brodin is lunging after the puck and Hall looks like his eyes lit up as soon as Brodin let the puck go because he realized that the other d-man didn’t have a stick. He went flying after the puck as Brodin was lunging towards it. Brodin touched the puck first but got creamed as he was in a vulnerable off balance position. Any way that is what I saw!"

I noticed something else in the video posted here. Before all of this took place, Hall tried a wraparound that broke the stick of the other d-man. That is why he didn't have a stick. Also since it happened only seconds before is why Brodin wasn't aware that his partner didn't have a stick.

I think that all in all, Brodin was an unfortunate victim of rapidly progressing set of circumstances.

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#16 The Soup Fascist
November 03 2012, 09:34AM
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Agree. Brodin getting hurt is unfotunate. Other than that ...

1. Nice to see Hall wasn't walking on eggshells with his shoulder.

2. Can't say I would be disappointed to see Hall develop a mean streak and rep. May extend his career.

3. If he were to get suspended a couple games, would it be the worst thing in the world? Other than Sutton, how many Oilers have been suspended in the last 5... er.. make that 10 years? Feel free to play on the edge, FFS.

4. On a size impaired top 6, any physical presence is like pennies from heaven (less the escrow hold backs, of course). Oilers have played with as much edge as a wet Kleenex.

5. Stu Mac, was asked before last years draft if he was concerned with Henrik Samuelsson's suspensions in the WHL. His response to his interviewer, "you say that like it is a bad thing".

Exactly, MBS. Exactly.

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#17 Archaeologuy
November 03 2012, 09:34AM
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I dont see any way possible that was a hit to the head. I might be the wrong person to ask about ths stuff though, I personally have no problem with the occasional hit to the head in hockey.

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#18 NewAgeSys
November 03 2012, 09:36AM
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At 00:o8-9 seconds the opposition player makes eye contact with taylor hall and then makes a decision to pursue the puck,the defender is caught flatfooted and he knows it,he sees hall with a head of steam and closing on the puck and he decides to challenge him for the puck.It was a bad decision by the defender. The defender was aware of Hallsy the entire time,he wasnt caught off gaurd he was simply caught out of position and time and made a bad call. To the defenders credit he did not turn his back like an NHL player would have--this is the catalyst of the hit--in the NHL the man turtles and takes the hit,here the fella pulled a old Hall move and stretched out for it.All we saw there was an example of Halls maturity and experience,and an example of his opponents inexperience --last year Taylor was the one reaching,but not anymore.Taylor kept his feet on the ice and didnt expolde into his approach,he skated in with just enough speed to safely play the puck,it was not reckless,he was cautious--that was 1/3 speed not even for Hall.That was simply a text book hit with perfect timeing that the defender was not prepared to recieve,he was caught stretching.

I am no hockey player but in any contact sport you do drills every practice working on absorbing punishment or hits,part of everyones game is being able to recieve a hit on a pro level.That young defender was brave to not turn his back like a turtle,he was also gutsy to go for that puck,but he was vain to think he wasnt going to get punished by Hall especially because he made clear and unobstructed eye contact with hall long before the play was catalysed and the one on one race for the puck began.

Heres moma2s dynamic analysis of the play in question and its catalyst--what the hell I havent posted a long one in a long time.

I am superglad we have this video to watch because it drives home a point we had problems with last year ,a real traditional conendrum if you will.Moma2 has blogged this one to death already.

"WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU LOSE YOU STICK IN A HOCKEY GAME IF YOU ARE NOT ENGAGING THE PUCK???"

In the NHS you immediatly race ASAP to either a teammate of the bench and you get another stick,you DO NOT destroy your lines ability to defend properly.Ever.In traditionally managed hockey you might do a variety of other things when you are out there with no teeth,but you wont be eating any meat thats for sure.

At 00:04 sec of the video we can see a man with no stick pursuing Hall as he challenges the net,that is the catalyst of the play that caused the injury.That man set his teammate up for the injury,he caused a moment of indecision at exactly 00:08.5 sec by looking at his teammate but not calling for the puck,this planted indecision in his teammate,then at 10:00 sec we have a perfect shot of this moment the "man in the middle"with no stick between hall and the soon to be injured player who Pauses because of the man who looks like he should be able to get to the puck first BUT HAS NO STICK TO DO SO.This is a textbook example of the NHS core values clashing with hockey tradition and kicking arse--I got banned from an unnamed major Oilers site for slamming coaches and managment for refusing to adjust their old school hockey mindsets and this was one of the bones I beat them over the beanbag with,it was a real pain in my tophat for two years until I saw change happening out on the ice.

I have to stop ranting now because I also have evolved and moved past the days when I felt it was necessary to engage the Oilers managment--not anymore folks.Moma2 just makes observations now---gotta love the video no one argues.

This injury gets gently laid at the feet of the opposition coach for not clearly delineating to his players what to do when you lose your stick,the more times I watch the video the more sorry I feel for the guy with no stick because he actually looked to the bench before chasing Hall the first time and methinks he was told to get into the play.

Nice play Taylor --you didnt open up the jets and take advantage of another player you showed very good respect out there,you kept your feet on the ice and even turned a bit ,it was a clean play------sorry for the oppositions lack of preparedness I guess their coach has some good video to work with,I know we sure do.

Thanks for the video and the excellent piece,it is much appreciated and sure illustrates some really critical dynamic plays in a very easy to understand fashion.Please keep em coming.Nice to see you back Hallsy.

Moma2 still thinks it is Mucho Loco to have our gold coins playing where they are right now risking injury--just an observation.

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#19 geoilersgist
November 03 2012, 09:42AM
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I'm glad to see Hall isn't taking any crap. He looks like he glided into Brodin. Probably could have been a lot worse than it was.

I wonder how DSF will feel about this since Minnesota is his man crush.

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#20 Lummeropenet
November 03 2012, 09:53AM
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Don't Messier with Hall.

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#21 DSF
November 03 2012, 10:00AM
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geoilersgist wrote:

I'm glad to see Hall isn't taking any crap. He looks like he glided into Brodin. Probably could have been a lot worse than it was.

I wonder how DSF will feel about this since Minnesota is his man crush.

Looks like a borderline charging penalty to me.

My concern would be that the Aeros might really start targeting Eberle, Hopkins, Hall and Schultz to get retribution.

The Aeros have some pretty big boys on their roster and I expect you'll see some pay back tonight.

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#22 steveb12344
November 03 2012, 10:01AM
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It's too bad Hall didn't get an assist on one of the other goals. It would have been his first Messier hat-trick.

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#24 steveb12344
November 03 2012, 10:05AM
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DSF wrote:

Looks like a borderline charging penalty to me.

My concern would be that the Aeros might really start targeting Eberle, Hopkins, Hall and Schultz to get retribution.

The Aeros have some pretty big boys on their roster and I expect you'll see some pay back tonight.

How would this be any different from the past?

The Aeros/Wild players have been targeting our stars for years.

Maybe Bulmer's broken face at the hands of Teubert,might make them think twice.

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#25 steveb12344
November 03 2012, 10:12AM
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I mean did you see the rage on Teubert's face when he gave those beatdowns?

I'm guessing there's not many NHL'ers who would want to get in the way of that freight-train, let alone Aeros.

If they are so brave then why didn't anyone go after Teubert after beating down Bulmer/injuring Granlund.

My guess is they want no part of him.

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#26 DSF
November 03 2012, 10:20AM
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Lowetide wrote:

This is different from previous games against Minnesota/Houston? I don't think so. The Oilers standing up to them is the news here.

So, you think Hall was standing up to the Aeros?

Appeared to me he was just finishing a check that, unfortunately, involved Brodin's head.

The Aeros have called up Corbin Baldwin for tonights game.

He's 6'5" 215.

Wonder if that means anything?

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#27 Tha Legion
November 03 2012, 10:23AM
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I tell you #schulte feels that hit was clean, and #schulte knows hitting it's all he did when he played.

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#28 seanjohn
November 03 2012, 10:28AM
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tough luck. them the brakes. keep your head up. the new Oilers want to be tough to play against. this is what we want in Hall: Justin Brown, only better. a hardnosed player with 1st overall type skills. Bring it on, Hall.

unfortunate for Brodin.

but, as for Hall playing it tough... love it.

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#30 geoilersgist
November 03 2012, 10:29AM
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@DSF

supposedly brodin broke his collar bone... im no doctor but if the principal contact point was the head how the eff did he break his collar bone??? sorry but thats no hit to the head, shoulder to shoulder.

tuebert will lay this baldwin guy out

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#31 DSF
November 03 2012, 10:35AM
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geoilersgist wrote:

supposedly brodin broke his collar bone... im no doctor but if the principal contact point was the head how the eff did he break his collar bone??? sorry but thats no hit to the head, shoulder to shoulder.

tuebert will lay this baldwin guy out

Hardly mutually exclusive.

Very hard to tell from the replay but the referee certainly thought it was a hit to the head.

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#32 DSF
November 03 2012, 10:38AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Just means more meat on skates. Houston must have a half dozen.

More than half a dozen.

I expect you'll see a bit of nasty tonight.

Any word on whether or not Hall has been suspended?

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#33 DSF
November 03 2012, 10:41AM
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Never mind.

John Shannon ‏@JSportsnet

So Hall won't play tonight vs Houston...and Dave Andrews of the AHL says the review should be done by tomorrow.

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#34 Bi-Curious Gord
November 03 2012, 10:46AM
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Nuge better keep his head on a swivel tonight. Something tells me Abney might be busy today.

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#36 Quicksilver ballet
November 03 2012, 10:49AM
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Good for Taylor. He should get kicked out of this evenings game as well. Instead of playing the shrinking violet, dish it out, set the tone, be the prick. Hope the shooting fish in a barrel pace continues for Hall.

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#37 steveb12344
November 03 2012, 10:52AM
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@DSF

If they want to dress a buch of goons and focus on that stuff in an important divisional game. I'm sure Nelson won't mind taking the 4 points.

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#38 Rocket
November 03 2012, 10:59AM
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Hall is a beast!

Seriously though, this is exactly how I want Hall to play. He really did look like Messier out there.

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#39 Shaun Doe
November 03 2012, 11:00AM
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geoilersgist wrote:

supposedly brodin broke his collar bone... im no doctor but if the principal contact point was the head how the eff did he break his collar bone??? sorry but thats no hit to the head, shoulder to shoulder.

tuebert will lay this baldwin guy out

Well I broke my collar bone falling to the ice awkwardly and from a shoulder on shoulder hit while playing hockey so one result doesn't necessarily lead to any particular action to be honest.

I can't say for certain that there is a hit to the head based on the poor quality of the video. I do, however, echo lowetides thoughts in that the follow through might be the real culprit here. Looked to me as if Hall follows through the hit with his forearm/elbow. Could be the damage was already done at this point and it could also just be the natural progression of the hit. To me though, that was the only part of the hit that I could clearly see and think that it might not be all on the level.

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#40 justDOit
November 03 2012, 11:00AM
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If the guy's helmet had not flown off after the hit, there's no penalty. That's what made it look like a hit to the head.

And yeah, NOW the Aeros are going to target the OKC stars.

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#41 Truth
November 03 2012, 11:09AM
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If Brodins injury is true that it is a broken collarbone then that is 100% conclusive evidence the principle contact is not the head. One's collarbone does not break from secondary contact or falling to the ice. The right thing to do for the AHL would be to rescind the match penalty and make Hall available for today's game (although all reports are he would not play anyway). Since hockey is clearly not doing the right things nowadays that will not happen.

Tough to see anyone get injured, even worse when it's a very promising prospect.

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#42 DSF
November 03 2012, 11:14AM
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justDOit wrote:

If the guy's helmet had not flown off after the hit, there's no penalty. That's what made it look like a hit to the head.

And yeah, NOW the Aeros are going to target the OKC stars.

Yep.

Eberle, Hopkins and Schultz might want to keep their heads on a swivel tonight.

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#43 Ales Hallsky
November 03 2012, 11:16AM
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TAYLOR HALL FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#44 @Oilanderp
November 03 2012, 11:19AM
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It might be Hall's fault that Abney gets another chance. Best of luck tonight, Cam.

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#45 Ales Hallsky
November 03 2012, 11:20AM
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DSF wrote:

Yep.

Eberle, Hopkins and Schultz might want to keep their heads on a swivel tonight.

Or just crosscheck any one who comes near them in the teeth.

A suspension cost them, what, 10 G's? An injury could cost them millions in the long run...

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#46 The Oilers Shot Clock
November 03 2012, 11:23AM
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I'm just glad there's some drama. Make 'em pay on the power play, that's the ticket tonight. Just don't get injured fellas. These are the games Nelson has to really have a feel for and sit the young ones an extra shift sometimes if there's a bad moon rising out there.

Do you think Nelson got a call from MacT or Klowe or even Tambo about being careful with the golden geese?

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#47 Shaun Doe
November 03 2012, 11:30AM
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@Truth

I'm sorry but you are just flat out wrong. A shoulder to shoulder check is NOT the only way you can break your collarbone. Or did I wear a butterfly truss for two weeks for no reason? You can break it from falling to the ice. I'm not saying that is what happened here, but I am saying its a possibility.

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#48 David S
November 03 2012, 11:34AM
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DSF wrote:

So, you think Hall was standing up to the Aeros?

Appeared to me he was just finishing a check that, unfortunately, involved Brodin's head.

The Aeros have called up Corbin Baldwin for tonights game.

He's 6'5" 215.

Wonder if that means anything?

http://youtu.be/uDBvzfm_qrk

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#49 Rama Lama
November 03 2012, 11:35AM
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Whatever play a player engages in........do it without any hesitation and do it with all your might!

The best hockey players historically never second guessed their actions.......indecision leads to failure.

Good for Hall in delivering that hit they way he did. Shoot the same way, drive to the net the same way, pass e same way........it does not matter what the play is just do it with all your might and abilities.

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#50 OilerPunch
November 03 2012, 11:58AM
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Is Nation Radio still on?

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