HOW MANY GAMES FOR HALL?

Robin Brownlee
February 22 2013 12:05AM

Yes, it can get worse for the Edmonton Oilers. And it likely will after NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan reviews the video evidence of Taylor Hall burying Cal Clutterbuck late in a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild at Rexall Place Thursday.

Not only are the offensively challenged Oilers facing a nine-game road trip after lurching their way through a five-game homestand, they'll likely start the grueling swing without Hall, who drilled Clutterbuck and knocked him out of the game on a hit that saw Hall make first contact with his knee.

Hall didn't stick out his knee. It wasn't a textbook knee-on-knee hit, although we're quibbling about an inch or two in terms of where Hall's knee contacted Clutterbuck. As for intent, I don’t know what Hall was thinking and neither do Oilers fans who rushed to defend No. 4 on Twitter and elsewhere. Hall denied intent, and I'm not going to call him a liar.

It matters not. The bottom line is Hall made first contact with his knee and Clutterbuck was injured on the play. Hall was assessed a major for kneeing and a game misconduct. The question is not whether Hall will be suspended by Shanahan. The question is how many games he'll get.

HIT THE ROAD

My best guess is Hall will get two or three games, which will put him out for Saturday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes and, at a minimum, for the first game of the road trip, which begins in Chicago Monday. That's the last thing the Oilers, losers of two straight and now 6-7-3, need right now.

That, at least to start the trip, will force coach Ralph Krueger to shake up his forward lines, which is something many fans have been calling for as the Oilers have struggled to score. Suffice to say, doing so without his leading point-getter in the mix is not the way Krueger would like to draw it up, even with the consolation of having Ryan Jones set to return.

There's no silver lining to the discipline pending from Shanahan, although I'm guessing the Oilers will circle the wagons and vow to dig in as they prepare to face the next two or three games without Hall. They can talk that talk. We'll see soon enough if they can walk that walk.

I'm less than hopeful.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 admiralmark
February 22 2013, 09:34AM
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Had Clutterbuck gotten control of the pass he would of been in possession of the puck at time of hit. As it happened it bounced off his skate. Hall has no way of knowing the pass to Clutterbuck wasnt going to be successful. He lined him up true. But injury to clutterbuck is his thigh... How does Halls knee hit his thigh? Crouched and pulling a sharp turn would actually put his knee lower then clutterbucks thigh and knee. So his thigh was injured because of thigh on thigh or hip on thigh.. No suspension.

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#2 Bonvie
February 22 2013, 12:13AM
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No games!! Not suspendable.

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#3 The Soup Fascist
February 22 2013, 12:20AM
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Late hit - Maybe. Interference - certainly. But am I the only one who thinks it was Hall's hip catching Clutterbuck's thigh. I did not see Hall's knee do any damage.

Five minutes for ..... er ....... Umm ........ Excessive interference??

I am sure you are right about the suspension, Robin. Just not sure it is justified.

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#4 Frankenstein
February 22 2013, 12:21AM
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If you live by the sword you die by the sword. Clutterbuck got what was coming to him. I think Hall may get one game.

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#6 Ryan2
February 22 2013, 12:26AM
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All I have to say re: Clutterbuck is you live by the sword you die by the sword. No sympathy here for someone who plays like he does. Too bad it was Hall that did it instead of someone less valuable. That being said, I do not mind Hall taking runs at people. It would be nice if he, RNH, and Ebs took the odd high sticking or elbowing penalty as well to clear some space for themselves.

As much as people complain about a lack of size in the top 6, I would argue that a lack of size and grit in the bottom 6 is hurting the team more. This team also needs more players with an edge to them. Check out some of the borderline and dirty plays on youtube clips that the Oilers used to do during the dynasty days. That is what the current team is lacking. The old Oilers had third and fourth lines that would 1) instigate not retaliate, 2) punish the opponents physically and 3) cross the line to send a message when needed. The fact that they could contribute offensively was a bonus.

Right now, the only forward in the lineup that instigates, finishes his hits and can be nasty if needed is Eager. Smyth and Belanger are not physical. The fourth line of VV, MPS and Harski is less physical as well (and Harski and VV do not skate well enough right now for the NHL). Ryan Jones will help a bit when he is back, but Tambi needs to find two or three more bigger and grittier 3rd and 4th liners that can actually play a regular shift in order for this team to take the next leap (and another couple of regular NHL d-men would help also - Peckham, Whitney and Potter are 7s and 8s on a mid to upper level team, not 5s or 6s).

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#7 Jasmine
February 22 2013, 12:26AM
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Clutterbuck in tonight's game was throwing dirty hits all game. He ran Eberle & Yakupov with no call. He cross-checked Hemsky in the face and no call. He has taken liberties at Hall in previous games. Where was the suspension to the Flame last season after he gave Hall a concussion for a hit to the head? Where are the suspensions to dirty hits on Oilers players causing injuring. There are rarely suspensions or penalties. Apparently there's a rule in the NHL that say you can take cheap shots at the Oilers and not worry about a suspension. When Gilbert was injured by a cheap shot last season, Carcille only got 7 games but it should have been more.

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#8 Jasmine
February 22 2013, 12:29AM
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@Ryan2

Problem is if the Oilers play physical, they'll get penalized. There's apparently a rule that the Oilers aren't allowed to hit or be physical. If they get physical and hit, they'll get penalized.

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#9 The Soup Fascist
February 22 2013, 12:32AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Oiler goggles handed out at the door tonight? Yes, Hall's hip did catch Clutterbuck -- after his knee did.

Must have given the same goggles to the Wild announcers.

"He didn't put is knee out, but he did put his hip into Clutterbuck"

This was after they initially thought it was a knee on knee and then saw the replay.

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#10 Devolution
February 22 2013, 12:40AM
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I think this was, in general, a clean hit. No suspension.

Woeful loss tonight, but at least the Oilers are getting a little less pleasant to play against. Eager was good tonight and even if it does draw a game or two suspension, I don't think it is a bad thing that opposing forwards have to hesitate a bit when bringing the puck into the offensive zone. It has been pond hockey for them for too many years.

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#11 Ryan2
February 22 2013, 12:44AM
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Jasmine wrote:

Problem is if the Oilers play physical, they'll get penalized. There's apparently a rule that the Oilers aren't allowed to hit or be physical. If they get physical and hit, they'll get penalized.

No. They can play physical and not get penalized. However, if they do take the odd penalty for being too physical that is not an issue either. It is better to instigate than retaliate, which is what this team has done for way too long.

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#12 VK63
February 22 2013, 12:44AM
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Yup. It will be two or three games. I mentioned this in specs piece as well but can anyone dig up the video of Hall nearly ending Tavares in the OHL with a massive hit behind the net.

Been a while since I saw it and maybe its been pulled. Not sure if Hall was 16 or 17 when he creamed him but that was my first awareness of the kingston missile and the somewhat Messier like capacity to change a game.

There will never be another Messier in the sense that we knew him, somewhere between the best player on the ice and the most feared and ruthless with his physicality. It makes me somewhat nostalgic.

Oh well.

Seth Jones looks good!

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#13 DonDon
February 22 2013, 12:47AM
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"If you live by the sword you die by the sword. Clutterbuck got what was coming to him."

Amen!

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#14 Walter Sobchak
February 22 2013, 12:52AM
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You don't have to put your knee out, this is a misconception.

The actual term is "low Bridge" hitting below the waist in a manner that targets an opponents knees.

Hall is going to be suspended at least 3 games IMO.

Clutterbuck was also in a vulnerable spot and looking away from Hall.

Hall may get 5 depending if Shanahan rules intent to injure.

This is along the same lines I think Shanahan will view it as.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=5GN2cFZ1oMA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D5GN2cFZ1oMA

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#15 Ryan2
February 22 2013, 12:52AM
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I love listening to the Wild tv guys on this going on about Clutterbuck not having the puck. So, he has never run anyone without the puck? Give me a break. Hall lined him up when the puck looked like it was going to be there and he still finished the hit when it bounced away. Clutterbuck would have done the same if it were reversed. Again, all I can say is it is about time someone on the Oilers took a run at him.

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#16 Westcoastoil
February 22 2013, 12:56AM
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Sh&@ play by Hall, but karma's. bitch baby. More importantly it was 3-1 Minny in a game they needed to win. Patience is used up and it's time for the team to start winning and the current roster isn't capable.

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#17 Ryan2
February 22 2013, 12:56AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You don't have to put your knee out, this is a misconception.

The actual term is "low Bridge" hitting below the waist in a manner that targets an opponents knees.

Hall is going to be suspended at least 3 games IMO.

Clutterbuck was also in a vulnerable spot and looking away from Hall.

Hall may get 5 depending if Shanahan rules intent to injure.

This is along the same lines I think Shanahan will view it as.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=5GN2cFZ1oMA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D5GN2cFZ1oMA

I can't see him getting that many games as a first offender, especially if Ovechkin only got a game or two for his hits. The precedent would have been set there.

Personally, I think Shanny will probably have a chuckle and say "good on you, kid" when he watches the hit the first couple or so times before dealing with it from his job's perspective. He was not a saint in his playing days.........

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#18 bazmagoo
February 22 2013, 12:59AM
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Orginally I thought it was a dirty & illegal hit, now I'm not sure it was outside of the rules.

I'm not sure Hall gets any games for this. Doesn't really matter because the Oilers look brutal right now!

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#19 mlcselli
February 22 2013, 01:00AM
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Shanahan will more than likely throw the book at Hall, just because he's an Oiler. He seems to like giving us a harsher suspension for the same infractions players from other teams get. (Sutton). My concern isn't the punishment Hall gets from the Sheriff, it's the punishment Nuge or Yak will get in a week or so when these two teams meet in Minnesota. Payback is gonna be a beotch.

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#20 Slats
February 22 2013, 01:00AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Sorry Robin but don't see that and don't have the goggles either.

But let me ask you this - as skilled as Hall is - Do you think there is a player in this league that can lead with his shoulder and knee at the same time?

Also something more recent was the dangerous hit by Dustin Brown's on Nuge from blind side on a defenseless player - I thought that was worse. Ok goggles on there but I think that hit deserved a penalty.

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#21 Ryan2
February 22 2013, 01:02AM
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@ Walter "Wes" Sobchak:

Another factor in Hall's favor is that the target was Clutterbuck. If it was Parise or Suter, I could see it being longer than a game or two. However, in a shortened season a 5 game supsension over 82 would be what, 3 games now?

The Marchand hit had a higher profile due to the rivalry between the teams and the fact that the league probably felt a bit bad that Marchand was allowed to speed bag Sedin in the Cup finals without the refs, or even worse, his teammates, intervening.

Besides, if it was a lower profile player than Hall there would not be anywhere near the current interest level.

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#22 Ryan2
February 22 2013, 01:05AM
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mlcselli wrote:

Shanahan will more than likely throw the book at Hall, just because he's an Oiler. He seems to like giving us a harsher suspension for the same infractions players from other teams get. (Sutton). My concern isn't the punishment Hall gets from the Sheriff, it's the punishment Nuge or Yak will get in a week or so when these two teams meet in Minnesota. Payback is gonna be a beotch.

Who does Minnesota have that is scary tough anymore? They are just as soft a team now as the Oilers are. Peckham and Eager are tough enough to handle anyone in their lineup. They ran wild after the Oilers let Laraque go and did not have anyone that could match with Boogard, but those days are gone. If worse comes to worse, the Oilers could call up Hordicuk for the game if needed.

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#23 Westcoastoil
February 22 2013, 01:09AM
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Let's not get distracted by one play with less than 4 min. to go. This was an unacceptable loss

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#24 oilersOne
February 22 2013, 01:11AM
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What should have happened was for the next line out the gate to be some combination including Theo, Fistric and Eager for a good ole line brawl and I would have been somewhat less angry with this loss. The Oil need to start making teams pay, have them fear them and fight back. It's usually Hall on the receiving end of that hit!! I'm glad he finished his check!!!

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#25 Slats
February 22 2013, 01:14AM
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Westcoastoil wrote:

Let's not get distracted by one play with less than 4 min. to go. This was an unacceptable loss

But you miss the point if he gets suspended your ability to win the next 3-5 games are impaired - no?

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#26 Jay
February 22 2013, 01:17AM
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Who cares! This team can't win with hall and can't win without him! I'm so sick of watching the oilers disappoint me game after game season after season! I wouldn't be surprised If the flames rebuild and become competitive before the oilers

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#27 Westcoastoil
February 22 2013, 01:17AM
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Slats wrote:

But you miss the point if he gets suspended your ability to win the next 3-5 games are impaired - no?

They aren't winning with him in the line up at home. Not blaming him, but that is the issue

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#28 Walter Sobchak
February 22 2013, 01:30AM
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@Ryan2

I'm only using the Marchand incident as a reference for "Low Bridge" hits, not as a determination for suspension.

I also see it as a 3 games IMO

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#29 Crooked
February 22 2013, 01:41AM
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If it was Clutterbuck hitting Hall, everyone would be screaming for a 40 game suspension.

Clutterbuck wasn't looking and didn't have the puck. Hall could see that, had time to let up, but chose to charge at him more aggressively to make a big hit. He missed his target, caught the knee and the end result was Clutterbuck got badly hurt. It was reckless and could have easily been avoided. That's on Hall.

I think he gets at least 2 games, potentially more, depending on the severity of the injury. Dangerous play, that hopefully won't cost a guy his season, or worse.

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#30 Nail and Nuge
February 22 2013, 02:28AM
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Hall's hit is simply distracting from the bigger picture; the Oilers are struggling in a very big way.

Their offense is completely off the tracks and I am not convinced that Krueger has an idea of how to fix it. That line up of Eberle-Gagner-Yakupov got eaten alive by the lowly Wild in the final minutes of the game.

Seth Jones anybody?

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#31 Oilers4ever
February 22 2013, 02:37AM
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Gimme a break. If you think that was a knee on knee hit you need your glasses replaced and your eyes checked again. Cluster-you-know-what had his head down first of all. Number one rule in hockey son.. keep your head up. For the amount of people he hits like that, he should suck it up and deal. Hall is not a malicious player. He never stuck his leg out. Like Hall said, he thought Clusterbuck was going to get the puck but it went off his skate.. its a bang bang play and theres no way you change your direction at the last second like that. How late the game was and the score should not matter. Play a full 60 minutes isn't that what we say? Hall is one of the few who do. Hall hit him with either his hip or the front part of his leg. He bent for god's sake which would put his knee lower than clusterchucks.. Setoguchi does a clear hit to the head is fined 8000 bucks. Way more blatant than the hit Hall had and he gets a slap on the wrist. If Hall is suspended then its not just the reffing in this league that's a joke now, so is the Shanny who clearly knows jack crap about hockey if he suspends Hall...

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#32 Oilers4ever
February 22 2013, 02:50AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Oiler goggles handed out at the door tonight? Yes, Hall's hip did catch Clutterbuck -- after his knee did.

Watch the damn replay on TSN's site.. you can clearly see that Hall's body squatted down and the side of his hip caught Clusterbuck... If you can't see that you need damn eye surgery. Seriously.. you usually write good stuff dude.. But you are out to lunch by a country mile on this one.

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#33 Oilers4ever
February 22 2013, 02:56AM
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Also, is it just me, but Dubby's getting beat 5hole a lot on break aways and such... Never mind the D and such. He had the one against Cullen tonight, the bad one against Duchene when he lost control of the puck and there have been others... The Oilers need to find themselves a number one goalie. Dubbie's number are good but he consistently gives up one bad goal a game. You won't ever win a cup with him as your goalie. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing the Oilers get Luongo. Big contract but he's better than any goalie we have in our system and any free agents coming in the next 5 years.... But the Oilers mgmt team drinks koolaid and smokes the pipe and doesn't care how this team does so they won't do anything. I hope this team tanks again so Tambo's arse is out the door. I've never seen such a passive GM who's too scared to make moves that need to be done.. Lack of size, not good enough at center and this mgmt team sits with the proverbial finger up their arse. Fire the lot of them.

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#34 hellacious
February 22 2013, 02:57AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Oiler goggles handed out at the door tonight? Yes, Hall's hip did catch Clutterbuck -- after his knee did.

thats your retort??? witty.

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#35 Time Travelling Sean
February 22 2013, 03:56AM
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If Doan can elbow Horcoff in the back of the head when he never touched the puck and not get a suspension Hall should be allowed to hip-check a player who had the puck, or at least made contact with the puck, and kept his head down in the middle of the ice.

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#36 TonyT
February 22 2013, 04:20AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

If Doan can elbow Horcoff in the back of the head when he never touched the puck and not get a suspension Hall should be allowed to hip-check a player who had the puck, or at least made contact with the puck, and kept his head down in the middle of the ice.

Agreed. Also, call me a Neanderthal but I hope Clutterbuck is out for AT LEAST a year...

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#37 Funkyjaman
February 22 2013, 04:29AM
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It doesn't matter what Clutterbuck did, has done, or will do, the fact is Halls hit was predatory, premeditated and reckless. It deserves the Shanny treatment and he will get time in the press box. But because he's an Oiler he will likely only get 2 games. Hall, what a piece of work this kid is.

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#38 NewfoundlandOil
February 22 2013, 04:58AM
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Glad to see the grit come out, whether it is suspendible or not I don't really care.

The Oilers need more of this and not less.

Clutterbuck?...couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

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#39 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 22 2013, 05:17AM
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Meh, we can lose just as good without him in the line up as we can when he's in. I doubt the status quo is affected. If this in any way shape or form helps push mgt. down the path of making a trade ill be happy.

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#40 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 22 2013, 05:20AM
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@hellacious

Agreed, he's all out of stuff lately.

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#41 Kodiak
February 22 2013, 06:35AM
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Clutterbuck had his leg out trying to kick the puck. Hall leaned in to catch him with shoulder and I really think his "intent" was to drill him with his shoulder. For those saying it was knee on knee, how is possible with the the force of the hit that Clutterbuck has a charlie horse on his upper thigh if it was knee on knee?

This predatory, premeditated talk is ridiculous. Every player going to throw a hit, legal or otherwise, "premeditates" it.

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#42 BK
February 22 2013, 06:38AM
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Oilers fans busting Brownlee for the article are showing signs of mental illness. If this happens on any Oiler, guaranteed outrage night.

IT WAS KNEE FIRST - https://twitter.com/dstaples/status/304840749575438336?uid=19916701&iid=am-209917816513615149476460223&nid=56+431

Perhaps not intentional, but clearly trying to hit without using his body. That what OLD OILERS FANS called cheap.

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#43 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 22 2013, 07:11AM
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personally, i think hall gets 2-3 games and i am good with that. it is about time someone on the team grew a set and did something other than take abuse without pushing back.

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#44 Reagan
February 22 2013, 07:12AM
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Clutterbuck karma catches up. The years of running around and mouthing off. I honestly feel no sympathy for this guy. I part of the game or not, then the hockey gods have finally delivered a dose of reality to a jerk. IMHO.

Too bad for Hall. Who is obviously going to miss a few games. No intent to injure just like that disposition from columbus never meant to hurt hall and get to disciplinary actions.

Personally nothing wrong with Brownlees article bit when you pull the mental illness card you may want to retort your last statement there buck.

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#45 The Beaker
February 22 2013, 07:15AM
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In all honesty I just think that was a product of Hall's skating style and wide stance. It looks anyway like he tried to lean in with his shoulder and just missed to me.

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#46 Rob...
February 22 2013, 07:24AM
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Horcoff didn't have the puck when Doan hit him. Horcoff was taken out for several games. Hall should get as many games as Doan did. F' this league.

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#47 Glen
February 22 2013, 07:28AM
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Oilers still can't score - this is the real issue.

On Hall's hit - he'll likely get suspended, although to me it seemed like a late hit which caught Clutterbuck off guard. Clutterbuck's thigh was wrapped up and he's on the plane to Calgary . . . regardless, I like one quote on twitter: "somewhere, Mark Messier is saying, well done, son, well done." We need to have players with an edge. Don't forget that some of those players we keep talking about, Messier, Muni, Beukeboom, did play with an edge, even crossing the line sometimes.

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#48 vetinari
February 22 2013, 07:31AM
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Hall has no discipline history and there wasn't an intent to injure-- I say Shanny gives him a one game suspension as a warning

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#50 db7db7db7
February 22 2013, 07:40AM
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I was dreading Peckham's return, but he pleasantly surprised me. He was everything I evr could have hoped for.

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