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Video: Rick Nash lands questionable elbow on Tomas Kopecky

Mar 21, 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

While the New York Rangers’ efforts have been hit-or-miss this season, Rick Nash has been living up to expectations as a premier power forward. That gritty side might get him in trouble with the league after Thursday’s elbow on Florida Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky.

The 28-year-old winger didn’t receive a penalty and there wasn’t any retribution during the game.

He doesn’t have a suspension history, yet Chicago Blackhawks blog The Committed Indian points out that he’s had a questionable moment or two, including a hit on Marcus Kruger.

Kopecky needed to leave the ice after the elbow, so we’ll see how his health factors into a possible punishment.

Nash collected an assist in New York’s only goal as Florida won 3-1 on the strength of Jacob Markstrom‘s 44-save night.

  1. bcisleman - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Has to be a suspension. Don’t see why nothing was called.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    He jumps and attacks his head. I like Nash but this is a stupid and dangerous play. 2 – 3 games.

  3. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    How was that not called?? I’ve been extremely disappointed with the refs this season. It seems as if they’re always looking for the ticky-tac calls, while constantly missing the blatant ones. If that wasn’t an illegal hit Idk what is.

  4. johnstone17 - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    As a Rangers fan I’m going to say it. This is the crap that I have talked about on here in the past. How do you talk about preventing injuries as a union & then go out & deliver this kind of hit. I love Nash, but he crossed the line & will probably be suspended.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 21, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      Well said. Very worthy of unanimous “thumbs up.” Kudos to johnstone17 for calling out a star on the team he roots for. Too many times fans stick up for “their guys” regardless of the offense being called into question. It’s a shame we have to see these types of hits almost daily. This dirty crap has got to stop.

  5. thehighcountrybear - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Nothing in it…circumstantial contact with zero intent:

    Nash was setting-up to make a hit and Kopecky wheeled for the shot, caught Nash wrong-footed so Rick tried to leap over coming contact and clipped Tomas in the back of the head, itself indicative of a split-second change in circumstance.

    Bad luck for both players but no supplementary discipline needed…I doubt the matter will be subject to any formal review by the League.

    And, Rick did not behave like a guilty man, did not look at the referee, but did lean over, apologize, and tap Tomas on the pad acknowledging regret.

    Class act…

    • hockeygal67 - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      Agreed. I’ve watched Nash’s style of play over the years in Columbus and this was typical Rick Nash realizing no need for the hit and trying to jump and twist over the other player. His speed, height, size and gravity just didn’t quite make it possible and his elbow made contact.

      I’ve seen him make hits and if he wanted to do damage, he can, but here it was more an attempt to avoid contact and failing. His clear concern for the other player after the play certainly shows he had no ill intent. The officials also seemed to understand what happened. Will that keep him off the phone with the powers that be? Who knows. They’ve been so inconsistent this season, it’s anybody’s guess.

      • contraryguy - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Ditto. He’s never won a Lady Byng trophy but roughneck isn’t Nash’s style.

  6. 950003cups - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    Nash isn’t a dirty player. Never was. I hate having to deal with him now that he wears blue rags, but I wanna see if he gets suspended. That’s not a clear cut dirty hit. It’s questionable. Did Kopecky duck last second? I hate playing against him, but he’s not a dirty player.

    Whatever, I’m not in Shanahan’s shoes. He’ll know what to do. Maybe suspend him for the next 2 games (vs Devils) That’ll fix things!

  7. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    This is crazy. Not a week goes by that a head shot is taken. What’s up? These guys are running amok They have no respect for each other. Not long ago they were fighting side by side to protect each other from financial loses. I guess that’s more important than each others health.

  8. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    *This is crazy. Not a week goes by that a head shot is not taken.

  9. tlndma - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Though I don’t think he’ll be suspended, it should be reviewed. Not to pump Ed Olcyuck’s tires but, another case of, if the player kept his stick down the elbow wouldn’t have come up.

  10. mcmurphy22 - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Really tough call. I certainly don’t think there was any intent by Nash, and clearly TK moved in a way that put himself in a vulnerable position but this isn’t a play on the boards where we charge players with protecting themselves. Thought Nash handled it best he could, but even where he didn’t mean too and said he was sorry…I wouldn’t mind someone trying to drop the gloves with him. Rather see that than supplementary discipline. Looks more like manslaughter than murder to me.

  11. nflfan4now - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    It would be 5 games if TK had thrown his gloves and crawled around on the ice for a while after the hit! C’mon, how can any sane person defend this, he definitely raised his elbow to the back of the head. At least 2 games, since he hasn’t been caught yet with a previous dirty hit! Unless of course the NHL is worried about the Rangers not making the playoffs, then there won’t be a suspension.

    • stakex - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Richards missed multiple games….. for the last time, he wasn’t faking it while he was on the ice. Get over it.

  12. kgun80 - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    It’s pretty easy to explain why there was no penalty and there will be no suspension or discipline… His name is Rick Nash and he plays for the NY Rangers.. This is the problem with the league it’s selective penalties and selective punishment. Saying that I don’t think Nash is a dirty player. And kudos to Rangers fans who called this out on the message board.

    • stakex - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Bettman and the league office are no fans of the Rangers and the Rangers screwed Shanahan over during his career… so don’t expect him to be nice to them either.

      Now, this should certainly have been a penelty… and perhaps a suspension if Nash had a record. However there have been worse hits this year that have not resulted in suspension…. such as Pacioretty leaving his feet and driving McDonaghs head into the boards from behind. That hit was every bit as bad as the Nash hit, if not a lot worse becasue it was along the board. Pacioretty had also been suspended for a head shot last year, so he has a fresh record of such hits. Yet, not even a fine. So if Nash isn’t suspended, and I doubt he will be, its not (just) because of his name or who he plays for…. its because the league is wildly inconsistent with its punishment.

      Side Note: The Pacioretty vs McDonagh hit is actually a great example that shows no bias in favor of the Rangers from the league, and perhaps some against them if anything.

  13. coronakid76 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Left his feet, Primary contact was to the back of the head (with his stick). Has a prior history…….4 games…..That’s the Shannaban standard. Accident or not. Should have been a penalty just based on shot to the head (accident or not). Unless like posted above he is one of the NHL untouchables.

  14. gi0lui - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Cannot even begin to understand why no penalty was called, must’ve missed that caveat in the rule book about “..unless it’s a nice guy like…” or “unless it’s one of the leagues premier players…”.
    Can’t wait to hear Shanahan’s gobbledegook rationalization on this one, should be pretty entertaining, unless you’re a Panther’s fan.

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