NHL.com reports that Ian Cole will have a hearing today for his hit on Justin Abdelkader.
“Blues’ defenseman Ian Cole faces a disciplinary hearing Sunday for his illegal check to the head penalty on Red Wings’ forward Justin Abdelkader in the first period of Saturday’s game.”
Click the jump for more
There seems to be a difference of opinion on whether or not Cole should be suspended for his hit on Abdelkader in the first period of last night’s game. Yes Abby was skating with his head down, but Cole had the time to decide if he should or shouldn’t finish the check.
That’s the grey area in this discussion. Did Cole target Abdelkaders head? And does that even matter knowing he could have avoided making the hit altogether knowing the brunt would be to his face.
Not saying that Cole is a dirty player by any means, but there is a responsibility for players to think about their actions. Case in point last year Nick Lidstrom avoided taking a slap shot on an open net because there was a good chance that his shot would have hit the player diving to block the shot in the face.
Players need to be held accountable for their actions, especially when it can be avoided. Just glad Abby is ok.
Here is the sporting news with player and coach comments.
Cole, who received a two-minute minor penalty for a hit to the head, denied targeting Abdelkader.
“I just stepped up,” Cole said, according to NHL.com. “I think he saw me coming at the last second and tried to cut back inside real quick. I had him lined up. I wasn’t going to go high. I wasn’t going to go for the head. I was just going right for his shoulder. He tried to cut back and avoid, and he put his head right into my shoulder.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock clearly disagreed.
“I don’t like the hit,” he said, according to NHL.com. “The hit should (result in) a suspension, for sure.”
Abdelkader was taken to the locker room for observation. The Red Wings said he did not suffer a concussion. He eventually scored a goal in the third period to break open an eventual 3-0 Detroit victory.
“Maybe the hockey gods were looking down on me,” Abdelkader said, according to NHL.com. “(The hit) is just one of those plays we want to take out of the game. I don’t know if he intentionally went after my head. It’s one of those bang-bang plays. I’m just glad I could come back and help the team out.”
Cole later left the ice after being struck in the face with a puck.
Makes you a bit angry that a player can deny what he did was wrong even if it was an accident.