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Stajan’s reaction to Coyle hit gets the GIF treatment

Feb 26, 2013, 10:08 PM EDT

There was an odd scene in Minnesota on Tuesday night, as Wild forward Charlie Coyle received a five-minute major penalty for elbowing Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan.

Coyle didn’t receive a game misconduct, which often comes with a major penalty. Stajan’s reaction – some might say embellishment – was also immortalized in GIF form by video editor CJ Folger:


If you’re in the “Stajan should get an Oscar” camp, at least the power play didn’t pay off for Calgary. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo points out that the Wild somehow held the Flames to zero shots on a five-minute man advantage.

To add one more layer of oddness to the situation, beat writers for opposing teams hold opposing viewpoints.

Russo’s injury update drips with sarcasm:

On the other hand, the Calgary Sun’s Randy Sportak thinks it was a bad check.

Either way, it makes for a mesmerizing GIF, doesn’t it?

  1. nunan - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    See, this is proof that every person sees something different with these hits. So, here there is obviously nothing wrong with this contact but the Calgary guy, who sees what he wants to see, calls for a friggin suspension. I say suspend Stajan for crapping all over the game. Most people can’t even watch a video (or GIF) like this and make an accurate call…Makes Shanahan’s job tough because no matter what his call his, he is wrong in some people’s eyes. Nothing supplemental will come of this but I bet friggin Randy Sportak will go off on how terrible Shanahan is.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Sportsnet has a completely different angle on this play, it’s from Coyle’s right side and fairly close up, you clearly see Coyle lead with his shoulder to Stajan’s head, there was definitely solid contact and a definite head hit. But the referee called elbowing, which it clearly wasn’t, should have been 5 minutes for roughing and a game misconduct.

      Nick Kypreos was fairly upset that Coyle was allowed to stay in the game, and Nick Kypreos isn’t a fan of the Flames by any stretch of the imagination.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      I agree there will be no supplemental discipline but the hit was definitely late.. notice how at the start of that GIF when Coyle is hitting Stajan, the puck is already up at the Wild forechecker above the faceoff circle.

      And as atwatercrushesokoye said there are other angles which show contact with the head.

      A suspension or fine or even a game misconduct would be ridiculous but there were definitely grounds for a major penalty.

  2. sabatimus - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    This reminds me of The Night Jaromir Jagr Almost Killed Sean Avery.

  3. ravenscaps48 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    If the NHL wanted to make an example of this, they would fine Matt Stajan

  4. jasndc75 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    well, slo mo is going to make it look more like an embellishment, cant at all tell how hard the hit was.

    • nunan - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      Doesn’t really matter how hard it was. It was clean.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        Take a look at the Sportsnet angle of it, which is much better than the end zone camera they’re using here, there’s zero doubt it was a shot to Stajan’s head, clean 5 years ago but certainly not anymore.

  5. habsman - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    A definite dive. He even pulled a “flamingo” before falling to the ice.

    Brad Marchand would be proud.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      lol, there’s a sniper shooting rubber bullets from the stands

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    I’ll agree with Minnesota fans on one thing, it wasn’t an elbow but he definitely led with his shoulder to Stajan’s head, they showed the replay 5 or 6 times on Sportsnet, it was clearly a penalty. It’s the type of thing they’re trying to get rid of in the NHL but because the NHL punishes the result (injury) and not the action (the actual penalty) they won’t take a look at it.

  7. r8rbhawk - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    I went back and watched the play on the home and away broadcasts. Of course, I wanted to hear the opposing commentary. I definitely thought it was a dive at first glance. However, there is another angle that Calgary cameras pickup which shows Coyle’s shoulder lands square on Stajan’s face. It probably should have been an interference call, not a 5 minute elbow. The contact with Stajan’s head definitely was Coyle’s shoulder, not his elbow. At the same time, Stajan appears to have embellished so we could have seen coincidental minors.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      The angle they have up here is terrible, the Calgary camera is closer and on the side, you clearly see Coyle deliver a blow to Stajan’s head with his shoulder, which is why I disagree with you about interference, it was a head hit, regardless of whether Stajan skated off on his own (which he did) or was severely concussed the referee should be penalizing the action not the result.

  8. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    From that angle there’s zero doubt about it.

  9. Stiller43 - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Wow what a dive! Should be playing soccer instead. Sure, there was some contact, but nothing warranting the full out “OH MY GOD I JUST GOT SHOT IN THE FACE” flail and cover up.

  10. Stiller43 - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Good video atwater, i change my stance. That woulda sucked…still think his reaction was a little over the top, but that angle definitely shows it being worse

  11. hockeyflow33 - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Reports surfacing that the Canadiens are looking to acquire Stajan tonight

  12. mclovinhockey - Feb 27, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Is there a better angle? There is a slight chance the missed check went so fast that wind from the jump knocked him out :,)

    Great gif, specially love the other side of it, looks like he’s trying to pick up the puck for some reason

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