Life changes again.
When I watched the NHL as a child players used to blast each other all the time. I’d go to games at Olympia and see blood, teeth and snot on the ice quite often. You could hit a man as hard and as often as you wanted. If a man skated onto the ice with all his teeth in his mouth you called him ”rookie.”
The Justin Abdelkader blow to Anaheim’s Toni Lydman might have been a two-minute penalty. It might not have even got the crowd all that excited. But times change and the league changed.
Now it is a five-minute penalty and two-game suspension. In today’s NHL it is the right call. Abdelkader left his feet and even though he hit Lydman in the shoulder his momentum carred over into the head. It was an illegal hit by the letter of today’s law. My guess is the suspension was two games because Lydman is expected to miss two games with an injury.
Blame the NFL. This is the league that sets the standard for everybody else. The NFL is locked in a bunch of lawsuits with former players because of concussions. The NHL has similar problems and concussions are a major point of discussion. The fear is that current players will being lawsuits similar to those we see in the NFL.
The NHL is trying to cut down on high hits. My guess is it doesn’t even want shoulder to shoulder hits because it is too high to the head. This is a lesson learned and Abdelkader said he will be smarter in the future.
The Wings will lose this series but please do not blame this incident for the impending loss. The Wings fell apart my guess is they will be fired up for one game and then fade and lose in six. The Wings won’t lose because they don’t have Abdelkader. They will lose because they are not good enough.