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Wojtek Wolski elbows Daniel Alfredsson – in the face

Oct 29, 2011, 5:58 PM EDT

Brendan Shanahan is going to be a busy disciplinarian this weekend. As if he didn’t have enough questionable calls to wade through on his Halloween weekend, Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski caught Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson in the head with an elbow away from the play. Every single one of these plays is debatable in their own way, but Wolski looked like he wanted to star in a league video entitled: “What Not To Do.”

Here are the moving pictures for your review:

Wolski was given a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head. From the Senators stand point, they lost their captain who was visibly injured on the play—and never returned to the game. For their part, the Sens responded with a goal power play goal 40 seconds later and tied the game with less than three minute remaining in the 3rd.

Even though they were able to escape Madison Square Garden with a 5-4 shootout victory, the long-term damage for the Sens is much more important than an average game in October (Fittingly, Wolski hit the post in shootout to give Ottawa the victory). We’ll keep you updated with any details on Alfredsson’s injury, as well as any possible supplementary discipline for Wolski.

Update (7:35 EST): Wojtek Wolski had this to say after the game: “I watched the replay and it doesn’t look like I got him on the head at all. I got him on the side. I thought it was a clean hit.”

  1. stakex - Oct 29, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    At a quick glance this hit looks bad, but if you watch it from all angles its really not. Alfredsson pretty much skated right into Wolski, who appears to simply be lowering his shoulder to protect himself. Thats a normal reaction when you see someone skating at you out of the corner of your eye. If Alfredsson had his head up and was aware of where he was skating, this never happens.

    However with the way the NHL is right now, its almost a given that Wolski will be suspended, even though he really shouldn’t be. In fact, all these damn suspensions are really getting out of hand. There are penelties for a reason, and in a situation like this a 2 minute penelty should be all thats needed (it cost the Rangers the game, so it REALLY hurt). If a guy is a persistant offender, or is making a clear and deliberate effort to hurt someone…. THEN bring out the suspensions. However the NHL needs to stop handing suspensions like they are candy to guys who are clearly not going out of their way to hurt someone.

    • bcisleman - Oct 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM

      Skating into other players is something that happens in hockey. Wolski appeared to do exactly what he did: use his elbow in response to contact. He may not have intended to hit Alfredsson in the face so perhaps a suspension is not in order.

      • bcisleman - Oct 29, 2011 at 8:18 PM

        BTW, why is this not a double minor? A player gets a double minor for injuring another player with his stick if there’s even a drop of blood and even if it was obviously unintentional. Wolski obviously intended intended to use his elbow and obviously caused a serious injury.

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