Saku Koivu had to be helped from the ice during Sunday's contest between the Anaheim Ducks and the Columbus Blue Jackets after a second period collision with Brandon Dubinsky, and that was it for his night. Koivu did not return for the third.
Neither did Dubinsky. The Blue Jackets' forward was tossed from the game with a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct for the hit, which occurred high on the defensive zone after Koivu had dished the puck off to a linemate:
The question, as with all head hits, is whether Dubinsky will see any supplemental discipline from the league for this collision.
On first glance, it doesn't look good for him, since it appears to be an elbow to the head, which is frowned upon. But Dubinsky's actually got a pretty strong defence here. It's not actually his elbow that does most of the damage. It's Koivu's stick.
Koivu has his head down, and when he looks up and sees Dubinsky right in front of him, he braces for the impact, raising his arms -- and his stick -- to his face. When the two forwards come together, the impact drives Koivu's own stick into his head, and down he goes. It's best illustrated in this GIF from the HF Boards.
It will be an interesting call for the league. The hit was still a fraction late, and enough that I'd argue the interference call was warranted. But if Koivu's stick isn't up, you could argue that the impact would have been through the body as opposed to at the head.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brandon Dubinsky
- Saku Koivu
- Columbus Blue Jackets