Video: 1/3 jessie johnson
A scary incident from last night saw Ryan Reaves of the St. Louis Blues paste San Jose Sharks Matt Tennyson to the end glass head first. Tennyson was knocked unconscious, and then hit his head on the ice to boot. He did not return to the game.
Reaves got a 5 minute boarding major and automatic game misconduct.
There was never any doubt about the line Tennyson was going to take to the puck. Reaves was too quick with pressure to allow Tennyson any room up his side, so the two expected choices would be to go slightly to the right of the puck and try and curl to safety behind the net, or go straight at the puck and try to shovel it up the boards knowing you’ll be hit.
Tennyson chose to stop and try and move the puck up the wall. He’s basically saying “all right. You’ve got me. Go easy on me.” It’s a standard issue hockey play and a position all defencemen find themselves in at least once a game. The onus here is ALL on Reaves.
Reaves had choices of his own. I’m not asking anyone to turn away here. Tennyson should be hit, and he expects to be hit. But there’s no need to stand up tall, putting the point of contact in the head and shoulders area. That’s bad choice number one. Number two is that Reaves actually accelerates for impact.The guy is a sitting duck. Reaves plants his feet,
makes a blatant last second adjustment to line up the angle of attack, and then explodes into the hit.
This last second action changes this from a hockey play gone wrong to a hit I would call predatory. It also becomes a head shot.
If the League truly wants to get head shots out of the sport, then any reckless head shot in my eyes is worth 8-10 games. I would settle for 4-6.