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Rangers upset about no-call on Dan Carcillo head-hunting Ruslan Fedotenko

Nov 5, 2010, 12:46 AM EDT

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The New York Rangers have a lot of reasons to be mad after losing tonight in Philadelphia 4-1 to the Flyers. The main reason they’re really upset, however, has more to do with a no-call against Flyers agitator Dan Carcillo. Early in the third period, Rangers forward RuslanFedotenko was cutting back through the zone and appeared to start falling to the ice when Carcillo came roaring through towards him and connected with Fedotenko’s head with an elbow. Fedotenko went down on the ice and play was stopped but he did not leave the game injured. No penalty was called on the play. You can see video of the hit here on YouTube.

After the game, both Fedotenko and Rangers head coach John Tortorella were angry at the lack of punishment on the hit. Andrew Gross of Rangers Rant has the quotes. First from Coach Tortorella:

Q: Do you have a problem with that [Daniel] Carcillo hit on [Ruslan] Fedotenko?

“Sure, why wouldn’t I. What do we talk about? We get these tapes sent to us during the summer and the beginning of the year. Why send them? It’s a waste.”

Fedotenko’s response to the hit is expected, but what the referee said to him about the hit is far more interesting.

Q: I know that you had a chance to talk to the referee in front of the net when the whistle was blown a little bit later.  I guess you didn’t get an explanation?

“No.  He said I shouldn’t try to avoid the hit.  I mean, I was looking for the puck and trying to shoot it so I didn’t even see him coming until the last second.  ‘Don’t duck’ was his explanation.”

Don’t duck, eh? Tough to do if you’re already falling to the ice. I’d imagine the NHL will also have a word with the referee in this case as well as Carcillo. With the new rule regarding blows to the head, it’s no longer completely up to the players to totally avoid these hits, especially if you don’t see the guy coming. Swallowing the whistle in these situations makes things about 1,000 times worse. It also means the referee saw the hit and didn’t call anything anyway. So much for knowing the rule book.

As for Carcillo, he told Flyers Files’ Chuck Gormley that he’s expecting to hear from the NHL about the hit.

“I saw him in the middle of the ice and the puck was there,” Carcillo said. “He kind of went down right when I got to him. My elbows were in. I know it looks bad, but I didn’t try to hit his head or anything.

“I don’t think anything (Tortorella) says is going to change anything. It is what it is. It’s not like I took strides toward him. I know they’re cracking down on that, so I imagine I’ll get a phone call.”

Obviously the Rangers have other problems with their own game and the Flyers are getting used to having extra-curricular distractions regarding actions on the ice, but there’s an interesting juxtaposition here tonight. Joe Thornton of the Sharks got booted from the game for a blindside hit to Blues forward David Perron, having a rather obvious dirty hit go unpunished in a game that was already amped up with fights and physical play makes for fascinating discussion on the new rule regarding head shots. If you were expecting consistency from the officials on these matters, perhaps your expectations were a bit too high.

  1. joepags - Nov 5, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    this was no “head hunt” situation. carcillo wanted to level him with a clean hit. at the last second ruslan ducked down, so when carcillo tried to hold up, it looked like a head shot. simple, dont duck and put your head at risk, the higher you stay your head wont get hit…that simple! p.s. when crossing center ice keep your head up!!!

  2. crosbyhasgonorrhea - Nov 5, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    Same problem the NFL has – this wasn’t ‘against the rules’ per se (although Carcillo’s elbow is clearly out), but you can’t and shouldn’t go after a dude’s head when he is defenseless. It isn’t good sportsmanship or safe. This should be a union issue just as much as a league issue. Just like with stick penalties, there needs to be some responsibility from the guy delivering the hit.

  3. Jeff Thomas - Nov 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    I don’t know how someone can say Fedotenko ducked when he was clearly going down. Carcillo isn’t totally to blame for the hit because he may not have had time to pull up, but Fedotenko was already falling, so he didn’t “duck.”

  4. ch0pstyx - Nov 5, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Look, I hate Carcillo with a passion. But he is not to blame for this hit. He had Feds lined up before he started to fall, he fell INTO his elbow he didn’t duck down. Feds pulled a Lindros and it’s a shame he got wailed but you can’t blame Carcillo for this one. It’s ridiculous to say it was a cheap shot. Just my 2.

  5. icewitch1 - Nov 5, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    A player is responsible if his stick hits an opposing player in the face no matter what. So, should players not be held to the same standard with regards to their elbows? Sorry, a hit to the head is a hit to the head. The biggest problem I see here is not a new one. There is absolutely NO consistency in the NHL with regards to enforcement of rules….

    • ch0pstyx - Nov 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

      So by that logic a player could say, headbutt someones stick and the player whose stick he hits gets a penalty? I’m against head shots, don’t get me wrong. If anything he should have gotten a penalty for charging. Stick accountability and head shots should not be compared. They are totally different things. There is no questionable slash. It’s pretty obvious when a slash or high stick occurs. This was bad timing.

      • icewitch1 - Nov 5, 2010 at 4:12 PM

        I agree it’s bad timing. So is stick checking someone and having your stick ride up his due to momentum and hitting him in the face. Regardless it’s STILL a high sticking penalty. Read the rule book. It clearly states that a player is responsible for his stick no matter what. By YOUR logic, if a player goes to check another and the second player turns his back and ends up in the boards head-first, hey, it’s his own fault. And we know THAT doesn’t fly any more. And the “new” rule is, any hit to the head is to be punished. Period. But, of course, as any long-time hockey fan knows, there isn’t anything in the NHL rules that is consistent (except maybe the high sticking). Everything is subject to what the ref wants to call and what Mr. Campbell feels like enforcing. And often even these don’t match up. So, are they (the powers-that-be) going to call “all” head shots as they keep telling the teams, or not? I can see Mr. Tortorella’s frustration. That said, give Carcillo’s reputation and lack of status in the league, I am really surprised he wasn’t given a 2, a ten and a game PLUS a suspension…..nope, no consistency at all.

  6. ch0pstyx - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Well at least we can agree on the lack of consistency :) And yes that would be a high stick penalty in that case, but again, that’s a fairly obvious one.

    In this case, I think they got it 85% correct in that he doesn’t deserve a suspension for it. I’ll give you the 2 for charging and maaayybe a misconduct but a suspension in this doesn’t fit the crime, in my opinion. It could really go both ways, let’s be honest. But on that note, have a great weekend and let’s hope no one get’s destroyed this weekend!

    • icewitch1 - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:35 PM

      Well, given Rosie wasn’t hurt, I can concede the suspension really wouldn’t be deserved. I just don’t like Carcillo. Almost as much as I don’t like Lapierre.

  7. mguadian16 - Nov 5, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    lets try to keep it just news. don’t throw in phrases like “obvious dirty hit”, especially if it wasn’t. it just makes u look stupid

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