First off, don't get me wrong, I'm totally against head shots. But I'm talking about those headshots where guys come in elbows out at head-level, from behind maybe, and go right for the melon. I'm not ok with those. And I understand that the league wants to crack down on concussions from those head shots because they are 100% avoidable (at the players' discretion), but they can't police the game in a way to eliminate contact to the head altogether.
That leads me to the Torres on Eberle hit. I've watched the replay, and I'll even say most likely Torres had Eberle lined up the whole time and committed himself to either get the puck or lay him out. My issue is that I'm not convinced that Torres fits the description above of being intentional, elbows high, direct for the head. Hear me out:
-Eberle said it was a bit of a blindside hit. From the replay, I'm not certain of that because it sure looks like Torres was well within Eberle's line of sight at 6:59. In fact at 6:58, Torres already is in front of Eberle, and bracing for impact. So you can't tell me there is zero responsibility on Eberle for protecting himself, a guy just beat you for position to the puck and aimed his shoulders at you. This isn't like Cooke on Savard, when Cooke snuck in on Savard's non-shooting side during a shot.
-Then there is Eberle's head, and this is the one that bugs me the most. Yes, Torres' elbow contacted Eberle's head. From the camera angle from behind Torres, you see Eberle reach for the puck and lift his right hand to brace at the same time. He knew it was coming, but wanted to play the puck first. His head at this point is lined up with Torres' numbers, and Torres is slightly crouched, think about how low his head is. A little hard not to make contact with the head isn't it? At that point, Torres has committed to the hit and has him lined-up with is shoulders, and Eberle has his head at like an ab-level, what's Torres suppose to do, do a sideways leap-frog over him, bend down and shift his weight in a split second to try to throw a hip check instead, or just let up while skating in and take Eberle flying in head-first like a spear in the torso?
I know the decision has been made and no amount of complaining can change that. But I think this is a stupid call, and not only because I'm a biased Canucks fan, but because I dont' think this is the spirit of the game. Players have the responsibility to protect themselves and each other, it's a two way street. And sometimes incidental contact occurs and accidental headshots happen, and it's part of the game.
Edited by Jeebus Loves You, 07 April 2011 - 06:11 PM.