Saturday, April 16, 2016

Did Justin Abdelkader Cross the Line?

I saw this on the NHL Network last night and wanted to comment. Hockey Fights said this, "Abdelkader received a game misconduct for being the aggressor in an altercation; Blunden a minor for roughing. Michael Blunden did not receive a fighting major."

Punching someone as they lay on the ice isn't a fair fight. I think the NHL should take a serious look at Abdelkader's actions. I am all for settling things on the ice, this goes beyond that. Sean Gentille from the Sporting News has an interesting take on this matter.
Justin Abdelkader could probably be suspended. You shouldn't drop MMA-style fists and elbows on a guy when he's on his back, like Mike Blunden was on Friday night
In my opinion, this breaks the hockey code. I know, according to some, there's no longer a hockey code. If you want to fight a guy challenge him to a fight and get after it. However, hitting him while he lays in a defenseless position. Did Abdelkader cross the line? Should he be suspended? According to the Detroit's MLive , he's expected to play.


  1. My answer, as a Red Wings fan, is yes with an asterisk.

    Did he cross the line as stated? Yes he did and he should pay. The asterisk comes in where the idea of "payment" is concerned. Should the league get involved? No. What SHOULD happen is that perhaps Blunden even should drop the gloves with Abdelkader early in their next game and then skate away, case dismissed.

    Why shouldn't the league get involved? Because this altercation didn't happen in a bubble. There were SERIOUS mistakes made by league officials prior to this scrum that more than likely made this stupid event a reality.

    Event #1: Earlier in the game, TB's Victor Hedman high sticks Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk in the mouth and knocks out one of his teeth. Datsyuk retaliates and Datsyuk goes for the retaliation. THEN THE GAME STOPS WHILE THE REF AND ZETTERBERG LOOK FOR THE TOOTH! Ok... tell me... HOW does a tooth fall out if they're just skating along the boards battling for a puck? Hedman SHOULD have gotten a double minor for high sticking. If that gets called, I HIGHLY DOUBT Richards goes after that Lighting player at the end of the game.

    A little later, Red Wings defenseman DeKeyser checks a TB player head first into the boards. Again, the rule book dictates that this is a pretty easy call. NOPE. No call.

    After these two events, both teams' players realize that the refs in the game have forgotten THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE IN THE HISTORY OF CONTACT SPORTS: Player safety comes first... Thats /kinda/ why we have rules to that effect.

    So, the refs lost control of the game and vigilante "frontier-style" justice ensued.

    So, was the hockey code broken? Yes. Is Abdelkader a cheap player because he did so? No. Does he deserve to be punished? Yes... by Blunden.

    And the league should remind the officials that the whole reason why they're still skating in late April is that they were judged to be the best officials the NHL has to offer. They should start officiating like that or perhaps get some of those currently at home to take their place.

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    1. I saw the play in question. Nothing gives a player(s) the right to punch someone while they're laying on their back. It's a violation of the hockey code.


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