Bob Hartley has been coaching professional hockey since 1991, including 676 games in the National Hockey League. He’s seen his share of brutal checks.
According to the Calgary Flames coach, this one by forward Cody Eakin of the Dallas Stars on Matt Stajan was “one of the dirtiest hits” he’s seen. Take a look at the check and the aftermath, from Monday night's Dallas Stars' victory over Calgary:
(SD video was the best we could do; game wasn't in HD on our cable system.)
Whatever Eakin was attempting there, it backfired. Stajan didn’t miss a shift. The Flames, meanwhile, rallied from a 3-0 deficit with two player play goals in 3:18 after Eakin’s hit.
The Stars had their hiccups in the second period. Out of nowehere, center Cody Eakin tried to "low-bridge" Calgary’s Matt Stajan on an attempted pass through the neutral zone. Not only did Eakin get whistled for interference, he raised the ire of the Flames, who had been sleepwalking through the game.
Calgary coach Bob Hartley suggested Eakin deserved a five-minute major penalty for the hit.
"I remember when they instituted the five minute (penalty) for interference. That's a classic case," Hartley told reporters after the game. "That's one of the dirtiest hits that I've seen…Those hits can end careers."
Eakin was given a double-minor for roughing and interference, while Dennis Wideman was given a roughing minor. Eakin fought Jarome Iginla earlier in the game.
Far be it from us to accuse Matt Stajan of something nefarious, but did he put a little extra mustard on the tumble to the ice? (He does have a reputation in NHL circles as an embellisher.)
Or is Hartley correct in saying this is one of the dirtier hits he’s witnessed; and if so, should the League take any action on it?