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Pacioretty faces Shanahan hearing over Letang hit

Nov 27, 2011, 11:42 AM EDT

Montreal forward Max Pacioretty will have a phone hearing with the NHL Monday morning for this hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang during the third period of the Penguins’ overtime win in Montreal Saturday night. Pacioretty broke Letang’s nose on the play, yet wasn’t whistled for a penalty:

Unsurprisingly, the hit is garnering a lot of attention. Pacioretty is one of the NHL’s highest-profile concussion victims (from last season’s stanchion hit by Zdeno Chara) yet seemed to be headhunting Letang intentionally on the play. The Globe and Mail called it a “textbook blindside hit prohibited by rule 48 – Pacioretty coming in from Letang’s right and laying his shoulder and upper arm into Letang’s head.”

Judging by his actions, Pacioretty knew the hit was bad. He apologized to Letang prior to the start of overtime and expressed remorse to the Globe following the game.

“It’s a tough decision for me, it’s a tough decision for him too. He’s coming across the middle, unfortunately his head is down, I feel terrible about what happened,” Pacioretty said. “I didn’t see the replays, so I don’t know what the league will think of it. But if I let him take that shot it could be in the back of our net. It’s a tough decision for me, I thought I tried to keep it within the rules, but I haven’t seen the replay.

“I’ve been down that road, it’s a terrible feeling, I know (the Penguins) are probably going to want something to be done . . . (Letang) said he was good.”

  1. pastabelly - Nov 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Maybe the Quebec DA should have a hearing on assault and battery charges. Pacioretty plays on the edge. For his own safe being, he should stay away from stanchions.

    • Coach K - Nov 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      Before you continue to crucify Montrealers, it was a handful of dingbats that called the police on the Chara incident.

      If you look at the situation, here are the factors:

      1. Letang leaned into his shot, and changed the position of his head (Not convinced)
      2. Initial contact was with the shoulder then head on the follow through (Too close to call)
      3. Pacioretty came from the blindside. (Clear violation of Rule 48)

      Also, remember that Letang came back to score the game winner in OT.

      Given all that, I’d say Max gets 1 or 2 games, since he’s a first time offender.

      That being said, it took a lot of class for Pacioretty to apologize to Letang on the spot and make sure he was okay. Unlike, Chara, who continued to follow the puck, Pacioretty stopped to see if the player was okay.

      And from what I understand, Pacioretty is still waiting for a phone call or text, which Chara said he would do.

  2. sf49erguy - Nov 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    haha. yeah the Montreal cry babies won’t be so vocal about this hit. maybe they’ll riot if he’s suspended…

  3. pastabelly - Nov 27, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    They investigated Chara for five months. They won’t say a word about this. Montreal fans and the Quebec government are whiners and frauds. Not surprising that the dirt bag is blaming Letanh.

  4. elvispocomo - Nov 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Pacioretty needs to be better in how he hits Letang there – he comes in too high and misses most of the shoulder – but I don’t agree it’s a blindside. When Letang comes into the zone he’s actually looking at the area Pacioretty comes from and then he lowers his head and tries for the shot rather than avoid the incoming contact.

    If you consider that as well, and how Shanny has ruled on other plays where the player being hit changes their angle just prior to the hit, I think we won’t see a suspension. It’ll certainly depend on how Pacioretty explains it, since Shanny’s also taken that into account at hearings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get anything.

  5. stakex - Nov 27, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Everyone seems to be missing the fact that Pacioretty actually makes contact with the shoulder first, and there is no elbow or clear targeting of the head. Remember, the rule book does not say you can’t make contact with the head…. but that it can’t be the principle point of contact, which this wasn’t. So I really have no idea why there is a hearing over this hit. Im no Pacioretty fan (or Montreal as a whole for that matter) but this hit, while nasty, looks perfectly clean.

    • mmmpierogi - Nov 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM

      I’ve not seen the hit since last night when I watched the game. However, things that were clear in the multiple replays from last night were:
      (a) there was a camera angle where it is fairly clear that Pacioretty’s elbow comes up toward Letang’s head on the hit;
      (b) there is little-to-no contact between Pacioretty and any other part of Letang’s body (i.e., most-to-all of the contact is between Pacioretty’s shoulder and elbow on Letang’s head), and;
      (c) there is little last-second movement on the part of Letang that puts Letang’s head into a position where one could argue that Pacioretty had incidental contact on Letang.

      To be fair, the hit by Pacioretty was not overly flagrant or appear to represent some egregious form of targeting Letang. However, it’s also clear that Pacioretty was not being careful and put a hit on Letang that could have resulted in a worse injury than it did.

      …while Shanny’s at it, maybe he should start looking at how Subban goes around stomping on guy’s lower legs and feet with his blades. I’m a fan of guys who play the agitator role and think Subban does a good job at it, but that’s total bush league.

      • Coach K - Nov 28, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        That foot stomping comment is a load of BS. I admit he skates weird, but he’s isn’t a dirty player.

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