Friday, February 9, 2007

Phaneuf's Hit on Nash

The blogosphere is a wonderful place. It lets you peer in on worlds other than your own, such as the world where many Oiler fans live which so clearly is not one we share. For instance, at the Battle of Alberta, Andy Grabia posts what's titled a "Oilers Gameday" post and then uses that to discuss a genuinely interesting team in Alberta, the Flames. Of course, he is not a fan of Phaneuf (as are most opponents, I'd imagine).

But I'm starting to get a bit dizzy from the spinning from the Oilers fans. Today, for instance, Grabia characterized Phaneuf's hit on Nash as a "dirty and dangerous hit", and went on to call Phaneuf a "cheap" player.

He claims to have watched the hit from the side angle, but I doubt very much that he has. If he had, I think he would clearly be trained enough to check the position of the skates of Nash before the hit. Or maybe check the position of his torso. Or maybe notice that Nash hit shoulder-first into the boards, which is why he was not injured. In any case, this was missed. I took a screencapture of the YouTube clip right before impact to illustrate this, for our perception-disabled comrades to the north:

I would not characterize this as a clean hit, nor a dirty hit. To me, it falls within the grey area. Had Nash had his head up, like he should when Phaneuf is on the ice and he's in the Flames' zone, there wouldn't be any problem at all with this hit. The whining is coming from people who seem to think players with their heads down should be immune from hitting, which is something I completely disagree with. If you enter the Flames' end with your head down, you do it at your own risk -- that should not be rewarded.

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