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Ducks say Koivu was knocked out, Dubinsky insists he’s not a dirty player

Oct 27, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT

koivucarried Getty Images

At this point, you may apply the basics of controversial checks to Brandon Dubinsky‘s hit on Saku Koivu: the offender defended his check while the opposition sermonized about getting dirty hits out of the game. At least the one detail that tends to change – the health of the “victim” – is positive, as Bruce Boudreau told reporters that Koivu seemed “OK” after the game.

Sure, Boudreau also admitted that Koivu was “knocked out,” but you take what you can get. (Also positive: the OC Register’s Eric Stephens reports that the 38-year-old didn’t need to undergo an X-Ray on his jaw, either.)

Here’s that hit, via

Koivu dodging serious injury is a big plus, especially since Anaheim’s been a little banged up lately; the Ducks also breathed a sigh of relief Sunday as Corey Perry returned to action after a scare.

That didn’t stop Cam Fowler – who rushed to Koivu’s aid, as well – from bashing Dubinsky’ hit, as Stephens notes.

“Some of the hits throughout the league are something that we need to try and stop and try and prevent as much as we can,” Fowler said.

Dubinsky, 27, defended the check and his reputation in general to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

“I thought my shoulder and elbow were tucked,” Dubinsky said. “I went out there to make a hit not hurt somebody. I’m not a dirty player.”

Dubinsky hasn’t been suspended by the NHL before, for what it’s worth.

  1. stakex - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Let this be a lesson to any young hockey players out there… admiring your pass while skating across the blue line can get you knocked out.

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Oct 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Unfortunately this is exactly what Koivu did. He was on the recieving end of this hit, buit should have seen it coming.

      Reminds me of many Scott Stevens hits, clean, hard…..and always seemed to be on players with their heads down.

    • imleftcoast - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Dubinsky took advantage of Koivo having his head down for a second too long. It’s textbook hockey. Can’t fault him for that hit.

  2. jb8588 - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    What a dirty hit. When is the crap gonna stop?! Larry Robinson was right on with his assessment on the lack of respect in the NHL anymore.

    • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      All these players have to stop ramming their heads into the opposing player’s shoulder or elbows. Otherwise the NHL will have to start suspending them. boys stop concussing yourselves.

  3. shortsxit34 - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Looked like the initial contact was with the shoulder. Dubinsky kept his arm tucked in, but follows through with his arm during contact. There may or may not have been contact with the elbow in there, but he certainly didn’t stick it out.

    The other thing is that Dubinsky was stationary. Koivu is watching the puck and skates right in to Dubinsky. I’m sure Dubinski could have avoided checking him, but the collision itself wasn’t his fault.

    • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      Yep. Koivu knocked himself out. Perhaps Shanny should suspend him.

  4. LampyB - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Looked like a clean hit. Dont blame a guy for laying someone out that isnt paying any attention to his surroundings. Dubinsky was upright and the hit was high but it didnt even look like head contact was made at all. Shouldnt have been ejected for it.

    • packerswin96 - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM

      Are you serious? Dubinsky’s elbow is up way before he hits Koivu! Of all the dirty f*cking hits I have seen this year this is the worst!

  5. jhaegs - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Clean hit. Probably got the wind knocked out if him…

  6. skr213 - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Clean hit. Keep your damn head up. End of story.

  7. bigx21 - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Clean hit y’all!! Saku should get suspended for flopping!!

  8. hockeydon10 - Oct 28, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Didn’t look especially bad to me. Certainly Dubinsky is a little bigger than Koivu, so that plays into the optics. Wish there was a better video of it.

    There is also the fact that the side of Koivu’s head hit the ice when he went down. And bounced.

    Either factor may have been the KO. Hopefully the league has better video of it.

  9. jacketsfan7 - Oct 28, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Being at the game had seen this , it looked like he kept his elbow in , wouldn’t be surprised if he gets suspended but he’s not a filthy player , look at his record

  10. pxland - Oct 28, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    The hit is late. But that’s the only thing that makes it dirty in my eyes. If saku has the puck right there that’s highlight reel stuff. But he didn’t. It should have been left at a major.

  11. 2qswing - Oct 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    We are at the point now where refs don’t want to be second-guessed by people saying there wasn’t even a penalty called. On this play, no arm went up at all. If Koivu gets up and skates slowly to the bench, nothing gets called. He got the wind knocked out of him … that’s it. No head shot, elbow tucked, collision less than one-second after he passed the puck. BUT it is a bigger player hitting a smaller player who stayed down. In todays nhl that means suspension. If its is a penalty, its a penalty immediately. Anisimov got steam-rolled in the first period with no call. But he is 6-3.
    You could argue late but this was a clean hard hit for which he will be suspended. Maybe they will take into consideration the fact that he already missed the rest of the game

  12. 2qswing - Oct 28, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    “Ducks say Koivu was knocked out”…. really? since when do unconscious players immediately get up to one knee within seconds. They are either unconscious or they are not. You should immediately fire your trainers who let a “knocked out” player skate off the ice instead of ordering the stretcher.
    This is Dr. Boudreau lobbying for suspension.

  13. DED - Oct 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Dubi plays a physical game, but he isn’t dirty. Ranger fans loved him for his grit and miss that aspect of his game since the trade.

  14. endusersolutions2013 - Oct 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    This looks like a case where both are partially at fault. But Dubinsky did use his elbow.

    And while keeping your head up has to be remembered, I do not think it a payer without his head up fully should provide an opponent with carte blanch to do whatever.

    And I think the league sholuld speak into this topic in general.

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