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Fun with coincidence: Canucks GM Mike Gillis upset over unpenalized hit on Kevin Bieksa

Apr 25, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

Mike Gillis AP

You had to figure it was going to happen at some point in the near future that Raffi Torreswicked hit to Chicago’s Brent Seabrook in Game 3 would find a way to come back around again to bite the Canucks in the rear end. While that hit may have awakened the sleeping giant in Chicago as the Blackhawks have rallied from down 3-0 in the series to force a Game 7, the effects of that play have found  a roundabout way to upset Vancouver.

In yesterday’s Game 6 win by Chicago. Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell caught Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa with a hit eerily similar to that of the one delivered by Torres in Game 3. The difference here is that Bickell’s hit went unpenalized and didn’t get on the radar of the NHL offices while Torres’ hit earned him a minor penalty and a hearing with the NHL. Canucks GM Mike Gillis isn’t too happy about the apparent double standard as he perceives it.

Ed Willes of The Vancouver Province has the grumpy words from the Canucks GM.

“You tell me the difference between that hit and Raffi Torres,” Gillis said, referring to the Canucks’ forward hit on Brent Seabrook in Game 3 which was penalized.

“This was one was worse. (Bickell) left his feet.”

Obviously Gillis has a bit of a slanted view on things given his position on matters. But if you’d like to compare hits, Nucks Misconduct has the videos to compare them as well as their excellent snark on the matter.

The hits are as similar as they ever could be, the one difference being that the puck was actually in play for the hit on Bieksa whereas with Torres’ hit on Seabrook it was long gone. All of that aside, both hits are head shots and both teams have a right to be angry about their guy getting rung up with a bad hit.

The NHL opened Pandora’s Box when they designated the area behind the net as a “hitting zone” and thus introducing one big loophole to their Rule 48 on head shots and it almost seems fair to the teams that they’ve both had to suffer because of it. Of course, it’s not fair at all to the players that have seen their health and well being put in danger because of some insane designation, but this is the world they’re living in now.

What remains to be seen is if the Canucks can use this perceived injustice to motivate them to snap their losing skid and win Game 7. Of course, we’ve seen no other kind of motivation out of them in the last three games so we’re not ready to say we’ll see that out of the Canucks in Game 7. The Canucks need a killer instinct and if this is what causes it to come out, so be it. But if this is what they need, they’ve got bigger problems to deal with.

  1. derpdederpdederp - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    the puck was long gone on the seabrook hit? not so much. torres timed to the hit so he would make contact as seabrook played the puck. he couldnt have anticipated the puck bouncing over seabrooks stick, and by the time that happened torres was already delivering the hit. the idea that the puck was “long gone” is wrong. the puck took a hop and as a result the torres hit became interference instead of a 100% clean hit. these hits were both fine but there is definitely a severe lack of consistency on the NHLs and the officials part when it comes to dealing with hitting

  2. kevintihp - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Leave it to the Canucks to whine about everything.

  3. musingmaryann - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    I find this all just so surreal – what a whiner! His team starts to lose and then he is complaining about being verbally abused by Hawks fans – later admitting that it was funny and that he joined in on the banter …. but saw no fault in his child-like behavior.

    Now he is blaming the refs and dissecting the hit on Seabrook and now the hit on Bieska? Momma, please!

  4. tommytd - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    There was no difference between the hits. THEY WERE BOTH HEAD SHOTS. Please direct your concerns and comments to the league office. They seem to think a head shot delivered via a shoulder is OK! AND PLEASE…STOP YOUR WHINING.

    • derpdederpdederp - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:15 PM

      a head shot delivered via shoulder is ok as far as the rules go, and as it should be. any hit that is not from behind or intentionally targeting the head is ok, and if you make incidental contact to the head with the shoulder so be it. thats the way its been for 100 years and theres no reason to change it. hockey is a contact sport and as long as thats the case then head injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. attempting to completely legislate head injuries out of the game is ridiculous because that would require a ban on all hitting

      • tommytd - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:46 AM

        No reason to change it??? Why don’t you ask Pittsburgh if there’s any reason to change it. We’re learning more and more about concussions and the effect they’re having on professional athletes. If you want to see franchise players out for extended periods, that’s your business but I would prefer to see them on the ice contributing. GET REAL.

      • derpdederpdederp - Apr 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        why dont i ask pittsburgh? if the rules were decided by pittsburgh nobody would be allowed to look at crosby the wrong way. i would prefer to see some physical play remain in the game. every player in the game understands the inherent risk that come with playing a sport like hockey because it is unavoidable. injuries are a part of the game whether you like it or not. like i said, the only way to ensure nobody ever gets a concussion in hockey again is to take all hitting out of the game. i personally dont want to see that happen and i know im not alone in that view

  5. melaniem38 - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    The Malachi Crunch – Go Hawks!

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