No Extra Punishment For Erskine, Roger Goodell Is Furious

DC Sports Nexus ---- Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Every week in the NFL penalties are called for a player leading with their helmet. Some of them are dirty plays, but many of them are just a player playing hard and trying to make a play. Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, loves to dole out fines for these hits. The fines haven't really prevented the hits since many times the only way to prevent them would be to not play football. Goodell would have been sending the bill collector over to John Erskine's house last night.

Since I am new to watching the NHL, the NFL is my only basis for knowledge about hits in a contact sport. I would assume that the NHL would have similar fines for blows to the head, especially after an NHL poster-boy has been out for months with a concussion. However it appears the NHL is more lenient. Watch at the 30 minute mark the hit that the Capitals John Erskine puts on the Dallas Stars Trevor Daley.

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From what I see on this play, an opponent was going to the ground and Erskine, instead of checking naturally, raises his elbow and pushes it forward into the unguarded opponents head with a driving force. He didn't look at the puck, and he didn't look at the body. He went straight for the head, made contact, and then pushed harder. On the live broadcast in HD slo-mo it looks even worse. The ref made the correct call with the penalty, but did the league screw up on the extra punishment?

I don't want one of the Caps to get fined or suspended. It was great for the team that nothing happened. So why am I bringing this up? Maybe its my NFL mind. Maybe I've seen penalties and fines for breathing near a quarterback and I assume that is how all sports work. As just a regular guy watching a sporting event, that jumped out to me immediately as a hit that just wasn't right.

I guess if hockey lets you punch someone in the face and knock them out of action for months (Asham vs Beagle) , then why not let someone elbow another player in the head?


DoNotLaich said...

Personal opinion, but Daley lowered his body and put himself in a bad position. NHL makes a point to put part of the onus on the player getting hit. Erskine had no chance to pull up from the hit by the time Daley moved.

Chris Ford said...

I feel like the other player was in a bad position, but it looked like Erskine didn't do a normal check. Looked like he went out of his way to drive the head.

GoG said...

Agree with DoNotLaich. Daley lowered his head in the last second, and I can understand why Erskine didn't manage to avoid the hit. Also, it looked like Erskine was doing a motion to check him into the boards from the front with the help of his elbow, and that became a headshot when Daley lowered his head. (which was pretty stupid to do...)

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