After the first period of tonight's Dallas Stars and New York Islanders game, a debate took place over the following hit after Mark Fistric laid out Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter that left the young winger with an apparent head injury, who left the game and did not return.
My apologies for this being the Islanders broadcast.
As I said several times tonight already, I believe this to be a clean hit but it falls right into that gray area of questionable hits that fall under the new headshots rules. What makes this questionable are two things: the supposed concussion to Neiderreiter and the face that Fistric's feet left the ice after the hit.
I've already said I don't want to really debate this until after Brenden Shanahan has his say, so I'll let Puck Daddy weigh in:
But it looks to me like Fistric catches air as a result of the contact, not prior to it. We see it all the time when two players collide. The force of the impact sends one up at the same time it sends the other down. No one ever wants to see a player leave the game with brain trauma, but I'm not sure anything suspendable took place here.
There's also the fact that to me, the initial point of impact was the shoulder. You also have to look at how Fistric literally ducks down to hit the shorter forward, making it clear he was going for the shoulder. Shanahan has already shown this season that even if the head was contacted, if the targeted and contacted area was the shoulder first -- there won't be a suspension.
I'll defer to Shanahan on this one. So much for me not debating it.