Jacob Trouba provided us with what to me is a blatant example of what NOT to do when he pummelled Colorado’s Matt Duchene.
Duchene got the puck at the top of the circle and started toward the net, heading straight at Trouba. Trouba couldn’t get an angle to defend from so he decided immediately to go straight at Duchene in a game of chicken.
This isn’t the part I don’t like. It’s similar to when a goalie challenges the shooter. You pinch up hoping to surprise the player or take away time. It’s not ideal but you take your chances.
What I don’t like is how once Trouba knew he was beaten, he threw his hand up to face level and punched outward, desperate to get any piece of Duchene at all. there’s no way he didn’t think he was getting Duchene in the head by doing this.
Hands up. Off balance. Forward lunge for harder impact. Obvious head contact. There’s pretty much nothing clean about this which is kind of funny because it wasn’t even a penalty.
That’s probably because the sad part is if he stays low and punches to the chest instead of the head/neck area, it’s not necessarily illegal.
Plus, the precedent set by previous NHL Player Safety decisions is even if you’re caught out of position or at a poor angle you may as well try your luck getting any piece of anyone who’s in a prime shooting spot and take your chances of injury.
No, I’m not in favour of letting the shooter shoot. He’s fair game. But what we need to be ALL for is to have hitters remain in control of themselves. This wasn’t a body check or a hockey play. This wasn’t a battle.
He was beaten. He panicked. He clotheslined.
Trouba’s action was pretty much guaranteed to cause head contact. This contact was possible solely based on his position and technique, not Duchene’s. Significant head contact did occur, and there was an injury. Trouba did have other, safer options as well. Plus it was against a star player. What else is there to look for?
I’d love to hear the other side of this.