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Headshot watch: Nino Niederreiter leaves game early in Dallas

Dec 3, 2011, 11:14 PM EDT

New York Islanders Blue v White Game Getty Images

Early in the Islanders’ 5-4 victory in Dallas, Mark Fistric delivered a brutal shot to the head of Nino Niederreiter that should make waves around the NHL offices tomorrow. A clearly dazed Niederreiter stumbled as he returned to his feet (aided by teammates) and headed straight to the locker room. Early reports tell us the obvious: Niederreiter is out with a concussion and will be reevaluated on Sunday.

There will be plenty of talk about Fistric’s hit from those who like to debate suspensions. From Niederreiter’s hazy nature after the hit, it certainly looked like he took a shot straight to the head. Focusing on the defenseman, it looked like Fistric left his feet to make high contact with an opposing player. That’s not a good combination for someone that would want to escape Brendan Shanahan’s wrath.

Then again, Fistric wasn’t given a penalty on the play so who knows what will happen in the supplemental discipline process.

Things aren’t going smoothly for Nino Niederreiter this season. He’s bounced between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, New York Islanders, and the press box much more than he would have hoped this season. Now we can added the “quiet room” and possibly injured reserve to the list of locales this season.

Here’s the hit that knocked Niederreiter out of the game. Is this something that warranted a suspension? Did it warrant a penalty on the ice?

  1. bcisleman - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    My first look I thought it was clean, but looking at it from another angle, I saw clearly how Fistric left his feet and launched himself into Nino. Absolutely should have been a penalty–a major. Refs need to be talked to about that one. Probably a suspension as well. Of note, Fistric received a match penalty and a fine for a deliberate attempt to injure against current teammate Eric Nystrom then with the Flames for hitting him in the head with his own helmet in 2010.

  2. arrooo - Dec 4, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Isles get abused once again. Seems this always happens because they don’t dress any goons.

  3. danphipps01 - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    Oh, wow. That’s the most blatant headshot so far this season! I’m well and truly baffled as to why the ref in Dallas’ zone didn’t call it – the camera shows him looking right at them as the hit unfolds! You could argue the one behind Nino didn’t see Fistric’s feet, and fair enough – I wouldn’t blame him for not calling it either – but the other guy? What the fuck was HIS excuse? That was an absolutely textbook call. There’s no legitimate reason not to make it. He’s gonna catch one hell of a Shanahammer for this one…

  4. cup0pizza - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    GO STARS make those heads roll!

  5. funkybluesking - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    I love how BOTH officials were looking directly at the play. If you were looking UP, you saw the elbow to the head. If you were looking DOWN, you saw him leave his feet.

    Of course this is a suspension. I challenge Shanahan to explain this NOT being on in a video ruling.

  6. bcisleman - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    It should be noted that the hit riled up the Islanders and motivated them to outplay the Stars for much of the game. If Montoya had been in net the whole game, it would not have been close.

  7. spizzjr - Dec 4, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Cup o pizza go fuck yourself go ahead cheer for illegal hits the worst team in the easy beat u while having one player score four goals how’s it feel shithead

  8. spizzjr - Dec 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM


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