Blame for Hossa hit a matter of perspective (video)

 

 
 
 
 
Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa lays on the ice after being hit in the back of the head by the Canucks Jannik Hansen early in the third period Tuesday night in Chicago.
 

Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa lays on the ice after being hit in the back of the head by the Canucks Jannik Hansen early in the third period Tuesday night in Chicago.

Photograph by: Charles Rex Arbogast, AP photo

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CHICAGO — If you were looking for a turning point to explain how the Canucks managed to salvage a point Tuesday, you’d be hard pressed to beat the Marian Hossa injury.

Hossa was dominating the game. He made grabbing a hood ornament off a speeding car look easier than knocking him off the puck. He scored two goals. He had five shots on net. And he did it all in two periods.

He didn’t get to play most of the third. Who knows what he could have done with the series of odd-man rushes the Canucks allowed in that final frame.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, Hossa’s game was stopped 70 seconds into the third when Jannik Hansen seemed to inadvertently hit him from behind on a play that started with the Dane and Hossa going for the puck.

It was chilling to see Hossa lying on the ice in the aftermath, motionless with an apparent head injury. Instantly you think back to what ended his playoffs last season when a cheap, vicious Raffi Torres head shot forced Hossa out of the game on a stretcher.

It’s horrifying that he was unconscious on the ice, and his hands were shaking still when he was helped off it. You worry about the person and also you wonder when you will see Hossa play again.

"Obviously, we know he got hit last year, I think everyone in the hockey world knows that," Hansen said. "Again, it was a hockey play, when you go for a puck, you go for a puck.

"We both kind of jumped for the puck. I’m only going by what I saw out there. We both jumped for a loose puck. He kind of gets it first. That’s where we’re coming down and I think I kind of grazed him on the back of the shoulders and he goes down."

The hit is bound to add yet another layer to the hate onion these two teams have put together over the years. If Hossa is out for any length of time it would be a massive blow to the best team in hockey.

It would be like the Canucks losing Daniel Sedin.

But even if Hossa comes back soon, it’s frightening to think how a relatively minor hit like the one he took from Hansen could knock him unconscious. What if he were to get a Torres special again? What then?

Some of the Hawks, of course, didn’t see it the way Hansen did — a hockey play. But even the most vocal among them wasn’t sure it was a cheap shot, which is telling.

"Thought it was a questionable hit," Patrick Sharp said. "I’d have to see the replay a few more times but I didn’t like the hit when I saw it. You like it even less when you see a guy like Hoss on the ice who’s been through something like that before.

"Hopefully he’s doing OK."

Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault saw nothing wrong with what happened, suggesting the officials got bullied into a penalty by Chicago captain Jonathan Toews.

"It wasn’t even a penalty," Vigneault said. "Both the referees looked at the play, and until Toews went out to talk to them it wasn’t a penalty.

"I wasn’t given (an explanation)."

What about supplementary discipline for Hansen?

"Not a chance," Vigneault said. "He was trying to grab a puck in the air."

Hansen wouldn’t go as far as his defiant coach but seemed to agree with the sentiment.

"It’s out of my hands," Hansen said. "I don’t believe there is (reason to discipline) from what I saw. But I haven’t seen it on a replay.

"We were both jumping for hit. He grabs the puck first. Apparently, I hit him in the back of the head, that’s what the ref was telling me.

"It’s hard for me to really tell what happened.

"We bumped together, he goes down. I can’t really do anything about that."

That’s pretty much what David Booth saw.

"For my perspective, there was zero intent to injure there," Booth said. "It’s more going for a puck and trying to battle. It’s unfortunate he hit his head there. But I don’t think he had much force.

"But if you’re in their locker-room, you’re probably saying something different."

When it’s Chicago and Vancouver, that’s always a safe bet.

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Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa lays on the ice after being hit in the back of the head by the Canucks Jannik Hansen early in the third period Tuesday night in Chicago.
 

Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa lays on the ice after being hit in the back of the head by the Canucks Jannik Hansen early in the third period Tuesday night in Chicago.

Photograph by: Charles Rex Arbogast, AP photo

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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