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Video: Wings net winner after questionable ejection of Blues’ Backes

Feb 1, 2013, 10:59 PM EDT

Did the Detroit Red Wings catch a big break on Friday?

With their game against St. Louis tied at 3-3 midway through the third period, Blues forward David Backes delivered a hard hit to Detroit defenseman Kent Huskins that appeared to knock the wind out of him.

Backes was ejected from the game because of an illegal hit to the head. The replays make that ruling look very questionable.

TSN’s Aaron Ward added that the blow didn’t appear to be late.

You can see the hit for yourself below:

Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk netted the game-winning goal during the resulting power play and Henrik Zetterberg collected an empty-netter to complete his hat trick and secure a 5-3 victory.

Even if you remove that call, this game would have been a huge step up for Detroit compared to its humiliating loss to St. Louis in the season opener.

  1. jimw81 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    refs running a mock. that was a classic example of a player sell a call that wouldn’t get Detroit a 2 min power play.

  2. bensawesomeness - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Detroit fan here. Was a clean hit, bad call. Otherwise good game

    Penalties are beginning to ruin the game, there’s a million penalties a night for both sides.

    • cardsandbluesforever - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:49 AM

      im glad to see detroit fans agree on the bad call. i wouldnt want a game to be decided like that for any team.
      on top of the phantom hit to the head during the 5 min major, i saw detroit get away with at least 3 blatant offsides into the offensive zone, and about halfway through the the power play one of our forwards was in detroits zone and the detroit player was very clearly holding the stick, yet no call. seems like the refs took the 5 minute major to mean they would let the wings get away with anything on the ice during the power play.

      now i know how packers fans felt when the replacement refs ruled that touchdown good.

    • paperlions - Feb 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      Yeah, the game was horribly officiated. It was mostly a clean game….looked like two refs in a competition to blow their whistle the most. Questionable calls happened all game long. The interference penalty on Sobotka in the 2nd was just as bad as the Backes call. The make call on Cleary was weak as well.

  3. dtownbeatdown - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Detroit fan here, and yea I believe that was a clean hit, huskins got his bell rung. Sometimes the refs can be your friend. They tried making up for it with a garbage penalty to Cleary in the end too. Too little too late…

    • jimw81 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      this is going to be the same refs that are going to screw a team in playoffs.

      • hockeydon10 - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:57 AM

        If the refs keep it up, then no they won’t.

        I see a lot of people complaining that the refs have to be reviewed when they make bad calls. Here is the thing those commenters need to realize: the refs are reviewed by the league on an ongoing basis. Only the best refs are assigned to playoff games.

  4. polegojim - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Bad call… but MUCH better Red Wing effort than the first game.

    Great hitting – Franzen’s original hit kept Blues players skating with their heads up the rest of the game, and Tootoo’s got them looking up for him as well. That’s the way the game SHOULD be played… now, just get Ericsson playing like that!

  5. hockinj25 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    This whole game was reffed terribly. Both teams had terrible calls go against them. The Blues can only blame themselves though. They had plenty of chances to tie the game.

    • polegojim - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      Yep, that’s the way it goes – no reason for overworking it.

      Next time, it will be against the Wings. Always comes around.

  6. sjsblitz - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Its getting worse, replace refs perhaps?

  7. mydoglouie - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Blind side hit

  8. stevedurbano - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    This isn’t college basketball and it shouldn’t be officiated that way. Completely sh***y call. The Blues could still have won, since they are the better team and should have found a way. Hitch should sent Reaves out to beat the s**t out of Franzen.

  9. juliath83 - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    You can always count on the refs to help Detroit. Franzen’s jelly-legged flop in the 1st after getting facewashed was a bush-league as they come.

    • polegojim - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Oh please… go back to sleep…

    • dtownbeatdown - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Really? Must watch alot of hockey? Happens to all teams, we got a break and used it to our advantage. Don’t be so butt hurt about it.

  10. scottianseyebrows - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Refs help the wings? Is the only wings game that you’ve watched?

  11. stakex - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Wow. There is no excuse for a call that bad. This was a perfectly clean hit, and you would have to be damn near blind to think that was a blow to the head. This looks even worse when you consider that the refs in Philly missed a clear blow to the head that injured Simmonds.

    Something needs to happen with the refs. There are just too many awful and missed calls so far in this season. I know there was the lockout and all, but thats absolutely no excuse for most of these calls.

  12. hypefree10 - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    The ref saw the hit from behind and saw the wicked head whip. That’s who called the penalty.

  13. drez146 - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    Good game, but I have to say that hit by backes was as clean as they come, when the league doesn’t suspend backes that’s justification of how clean that hit was, yea the blues had chances to win but so does every team in a game, a 5 minute major is ridiculous and definitely a game changer, total BS call

  14. jeffchadwick - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Agreed on the overreaction, but how on earth was this a “legal” check? The puck was long gone. This is a charging call 100 times out of 100; I don’t care what Aaron Ward though he saw.

    • sunderlanding - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      First off it’s not charging. Second even if it was charging that’s a two minute penalty called charging. Not a five minute major called illegal hit to the head. They screwed up the call, but really everyone makes mistakes. Get over it.

    • eastcoastwingette - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      Watch the replay again. Huskins is only paying attention to the pass and watching the play unfold up front (completely normal for a defenseman). He’s completely oblivious Backes is coming AT him like a truck from the right side. My guess is Huskins didn’t know the guy’s reputation–kind of like not knowing to keep your head up when Kronwall’s on the ice.
      Before I get ripped into–I play left D, and when you pass the puck up you peripherally glance at what’s going on in your own end but you expect everyone to turn and follow the play up ice. Then you focus on the play in front of you because you’re supposed to anticipate where the puck’s going to go and need to be positioned correctly. You don’t expect to get nailed, which is why that hit was so brutal.

  15. wingsfan13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Sound’s like a lot of sour grapes from the blues fans, every game I’ve watched this year has had questionable calls!! Love them when it goes your way hate them when they don’t !! I guess we will have to wait and see what the league says, it we be reviewed.

    • eggserino - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Sounds like a jerk comment to me. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. There’s a difference between a questionable call that’s a 2 minute penalty and a 5 minute major and game misconduct.

  16. david1919 - Feb 2, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    im a detroit fan the call was terrible, tootoo did the same thing to polak and there was no call.

  17. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Feb 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    What’s done is done. However it was a terrible call that completely changed the outcome of this game. you simply can’t deny that fact. it was a clean hit, he just got rid of the Puck and was watching his pass and got his clock cleaned for it. ref had a terrible angle to make that call with out conference.

    • cardsandbluesforever - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      yeah i think you hit the nail on the head- there was no conference with the other refs.

      i think the soloution to prevent this from happening in the future is that at least 2 of the 3 refs must agree on the call when asessing a 5 minute major. the refs should also be able to go to the replay booth in case only one could actually see what happened on the ice, but only in the case of a major penalty. a 5 minute score as much as you can power play can be a game changer no matter who’s playing who, and thats the case where the refs need to get the call right.

  18. eastcoastwingette - Feb 2, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Not fond of Backes at all, but agree with everyone one both sides: that call was beyond ridiculous. At best he could’ve been hit with late interference, but even that’s questionable.

    Still, a win is a win and I’ll take it. Z was awesome, and when the Wings stick to their quick, sharp puck-possession system they can compete regardless of who’s on the ice.

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