Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders should be getting a call from the NHL Department Of Player Safety for his collision with feisty Washington Capital Justin Williams.

Williams made a touch pass in the neutral zone and glided on, watching the puck for a few seconds. When he finally turned his head, it connected with Clutterbuck’s elbow.

Video: Samboke

So was it a hit or was it a collision? I’m honestly not sure on it but I’ll accept his apologetic pause immediately afterward and give him the benefit of the doubt. Ask yourself another question. Why does this matter?

Clutterbuck jumps with both feet off the ice. He gets his stick up in the air. He leads with his elbow. That’s three strikes.

image

This is a lot like the Dennis Wideman situation. Accident or not, if your instinct to avoid a surprise collision is to two hand someone across the back it’s a problem.

This attempt to get out of the way isn’t looking much better.

 

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