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Video: Engelland receives match penalty for hit on Abdelkader (update)

Dec 14, 2013, 8:19 PM EDT

Saturday night is fairly young, yet the NHL already has a couple new, questionable hits to look at. Add Pittsburgh Penguins tough guy Deryk Engelland‘s check on Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader to the mix.

Engelland, 31, received a match penalty for the hit. Here’s video of that check:

If you want some added perspective, here are a couple takes from beat writers on the scene:

Abdelkader needed help off the ice. He won’t return to the game, according to’s Ansar Khan.

Engelland has one three-game suspension (checking to the head) on his record, according to Cap Geek’s listings.

  1. drewzducks - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Dejan covers the Pens, thus the “Abdelkader went pretty low with his head” line to attempt to deflect some responsibility away from the all to common cowardly Penguin. Who’s gonna draw the ire of the Wings ? Hopefully Sid.

    • allpittfan - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:55 AM

      All if you guys want to call my pens cowards then you obviously have never watched or played the game of hockey!!!! I’m not saying Engelland doesn’t need to at least get fined but when you are on the ice you can skate up to 40 mph!! It is very tough to avoid someone going that fast. Also all of you penguin haters out there your just jealous because we have the two best players in the nhl right now!!! And the owner is the best hockey player of all time!!! So be jealous but don’t go whining because your teams suck!!!

      • drewzducks - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Jealous of a team that the team I root for swept last year ? Jealous of two stars who pulled a no show in the ECF last year ? If my team sucks, as you say, then going by recent success ( 6-1 over last seven match ups), your team blows. You’ve shown for all to see how little you know about hockey. Greatest player of all time ? Mario wasn’t even the best player of his generation, Gretzky was, let alone the greatest to ever lace up a pair of skates, Robert G. Orr. Now run along and get ready for that all important Steelers game tonight as they continue their quest to reach their season-long goal of finishing .500.

      • bmoreredfury311 - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM


        I wonder if you would be saying the same thing, when it’s Sid getting hit in the head and has a concussion. or any other hen in that matter. Get over yourself and the dirty bird hens, no one is jealous of your over hyped team.
        Everyone is tried of this whole demeanor that hen fans have; Of if it happens to the hens, its like the end of the world. But if the hens do it to another team, its ok. every one else is just over reacting.
        You sir, are the one that needs to stop whining.

      • mvshark - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        Neither was going 40….cheap shot that could have been pulled back….

      • hockey3901 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

        allpittfan Obviously you have never played Hockey either. 40 mph? really did you actually say that? Hell speed skaters can barely get to that speed. MAYBE you should check your facts before you post something like that. I mean come on man that’s just ridiculous. Either way it WAS a dirty hit that didn’t need to be taken. Engelland didn’t even aim for the body went straight for the head and also watching the hit you can see that he got his elbow up. On top of that you can clearly see that all Engelland had to do was skate forward and take the puck because Abdelkader was reaching for the puck which means he didn’t have control of it. And I have to agree with drewzducks Best of all time? last time I checked Gretzky had that title and still does. Anyway yes I am a Wings fan and yes I am not the happiest with my team this year but hey if you want to know what it feels like to get hit like this send me a reply and I will GLADLY toss on my skates and let you test that feeling.

  2. orrbourquechara - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Par for the course for a Penguin.

  3. cheesesteak75 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    It didn’t look like there was intent to hit his head. Two guys running into each other, one had his head down in a play that happened really fast.

  4. steelers88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    And cue all the Penguins haters saying the Penguins are a dirty team.

    • 7mantel - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      steeler88 you have to except negative post, after all you have you have posted your share !

      • 7mantel - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        What I meant to say was Pen fans have posted their share

  5. runhigh24 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    you can’t suspend engelland! he’s such a classy guy! he visits children in the hospital and everything!

  6. cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Didn’t seem to be intentional but because of the hit and the onus on the checker not to hit the head I think engo will get 1-2 games.

    • hazlydose - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Don’t you come in here with your objective analysis! People around these parts would rather see comments on how Engelland was trying to draw blood for the demon conjuring he performs after the game!

  7. sjsharks66 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Had his head low. Why would he pull a dirty hit when the Pens D is almost all rookies and with all the drama with the league?

  8. theskinsman - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Because dirty,cheap shots ARE pens hockey. He doesn’t need to worry, if you only get 5 games for trying to kill a player sprawled on the ice with a knee to the head, this is nothing. Just another typical pens play.

    • allpittfan - Dec 15, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      Yea the pens quote play dirty but at least they don’t punch a defenseless person that has no chance if defending himself!!! You need to quit being a couch player and tryout to see if you can hang with the big boys in the NHL!!

      • theskinsman - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:44 AM

        The only reason glass jaw orpik is defenseless is he peed himself when Thornton challenged him. He got what was coming to him, although I still maintain those baby punches just finished the hurt he got from the cheap shot on Erikkson.

      • mvshark - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        no they dont punch a player on the ice, they knee him, what the eff is the difference both were defenseless, just like your comment

      • hockey3901 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:38 AM

        allpittfan you should take you own advice…

  9. steelers88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    I’m guessing he gets suspended 2-3 games. That defiantly was NOT a clean hit! Wether he meant to do it or not. He made contact with the head and he should be suspended for this.

  10. killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Engelland got a suspension a few years back for a Head shot. I can’t remember who he hit but I remember it was against the Blackhawks and John Scott came over and had his way with Engelland. So this will probably get him 3-4 games.

    • paperkid96 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      Not entirely true. Shanahan explained away the Cowen elbow on Datsyuk as an accident. So i do believe he takes in to consideration intent in some cases.

  11. steelers88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Yeah but he still hit the guy on the head with his elbow. Intent means nothing. If you hit a guy in the head you should be suspended.

  12. charlieconway96 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Seriously, who is playing D for the Pens now?

    • runhigh24 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      whoever they are, they are much better than the defense corpse Edmonton in currently employing.

    • hazlydose - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      The only one of our top 6 remaining at this point is Niskanen. Thankfully, we are deep with D prospects. Brian Dumoulin is playing in his first NHL game tonight and if Engo is suspended and Letang remains out Scott Harrington will most likely play his first on Monday.

  13. sjsharks66 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Im not denying he hit the head. He did, but he was in a bad position. I am guessing 1-2 games. Which seems fair because he did catch the head.

    • joey4id - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      No way he gets less than 3 games.

      (c) A disciplinary suspension of zero (0) to five (5) games, in which case the Player will have the right to a telephonic hearing, as set forth in Section 18.8; or

      (d) A disciplinary suspension of six (6) or more games, in which case the Player will have the right to an in-person hearing, as set forth in Section 18.9.

  14. 7mantel - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Wonder how many games Sid will be calling for ?

  15. steelers88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    This is where the NHL is failing. It shouldn’t matter if you are a repeat offender or not, or if the player you hit gets injured or not. What I would do is for the first two times you do something illegal you automatically get 5 games and then 3-4 times 10 games. 5-6 times 15 games. 7-8 times 20 games. However the maximum would only be 20 games unless the play was really bad. I would also have a point system if a number of teams players gets suspended in a year that organization gets fined and that team loses a draft pick.

    • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      Lemieux proposed teams getting fine for having player on their rosters that get suspended. The B.O.G. shot it down.,wp347

      • 7mantel - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        You left out the clause that said the Pens were exempt of all penalties !

      • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:32 PM

        I’m guessing reading isn’t your strong point.

        “Please note that if this proposed system were in operation today, the Pittsburgh Penguins would have been fined $600,000 this season because of recent suspensions to two players. We all have to take responsibility if we are going to improve the game.'”

  16. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:42 PM


    good guess…

    i guess you’re a penguins supporter

    what, hockey players have to skate straight-up, so talentless goons like derek engelland have a forum to exercise their stupidity

    detroit must be slow on the uptake: following newly minted penguin protocol, flop, jitterbug, bring in ems, apply cervical collar, tie to board, go to hospital, reinstall brain, fly home, come second in men’s giant slalom at beaver creek…

    stay away from the track, people like me get rich off people like who guess

  17. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    sorry shorty, that was meant for sjsharks66…

    ipad, stylus, residual pasteboard, i guess

  18. steelers88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Yeah but I think if you hit the guy in the head you should be suspended. It really shouldn’t matter about if the guy meant to do it or not. If the NHL really wants to get hits to the head they need to do away with if the player meant to do it or not.

    • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      I disagree. I was all for head shot becoming a penalty. But I don’t think every penalty should be a suspension. You have so obvious cases like Matt Cooke on the Rangers (McDonagh?) where a player skates 10 feet with his elbow out. But in many other cases the difference between a head shot and a shoulder to shoulder check in a difference of and inch or two with two moving objects. It’s going to happen from time to time unless they take hitting out of the game and hopefully that will never happen.

  19. joeslickfromturtlecreek - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Listen…. This was obviously an attempt to place a hard, clean open ice check. Both players were in an awkward position and contact with the head occurred. Engelland was assessed a match penalty and is out of the game. That should be the end of the story.

    • fusionix7 - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      You do know there is a video of the play embedded above? Watch it again and tell me he was attempting to place a clean check. He knew wear Abdelkader was and had time to adjust to make a clean hit. Instead with that time he made sure his elbow made contact with his head. It’s disgusting how routine these plays are getting.

      • knight1171 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:47 PM

        fusionix7 – Since you pointed to the video above as evidence, perhaps you just lack knowledge of the human anatomy. The arm has three basic joints, the shoulder is where the arm attaches at the top. The wrist is where the hand attaches to the arm. The elbow is the part that bends midway between them.

        If you watch the video, the best look at the point of contact is at 0:28. You can clearly see that Engelland’s elbow is tucked against his side. His shoulder is what makes contact with Abdelkader’s jaw. Engelland’s elbow doesn’t come up until he is by Abdelkader in sort of a follow through motion.

        Yes, he made contact with the head. Yes, he probably had time to adjust to avoid this. Yes, he will probably get a short suspension from it. But, I am sick of people claiming every hit to the head was someone “throwing an elbow” when the evidence clearly shows otherwise.

  20. benrob99 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    He’ll get suspended, as he should. Pens will be down 5 of their top 6 D men. Neal, Glass, Voukon, etc. Remarkable they are winning as much as they have. BTW tried to KILL someone with a knee?!?!?!? Awesome. Boston sports fans… always known for their level-headedness and understated common sense.

    • theskinsman - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:50 AM

      Feel free to get on your hands and knees and let me skate at you and drive my knee into your head anytime. You seem to think it’s harmless, and I’ll give you there’s no chance of it making you less intelligent.

  21. steelers88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    I’m guessing Engelland will be suspended though because his a repeat offender. He was suspended 3 games I believe for hitting a guy in the head.

  22. cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    He’s not a repeat offender. Last suspension has to be within 18 months.

  23. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM


    what would be clean about hitting a player laying himself out for the puck…?

    engelland had every opportunity to go for the puck as well, yet he drove an elbow into abdelkader’s face before abdelkader came within three feet of the puck…

    there was no intent to play hockey or play the puck…like orpik, engelland was wired into contact regardless of his opponents vulnerability –mongo need hit, mongo need blood, mongo need bananaaaa

    this leaves me to ask, do penguins deliberately search for the empty-eyed vacuous spawn of inbred hill folk to offset hockey lottery gifts or is it the simple alignment of the planets and stars that brings the brain dead home to roost…?

    • knight1171 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      “yet he drove an elbow into abdelkader’s face before abdelkader came within three feet of the puck…”
      Perhaps you did not see the part where Abdelkader played the puck half a second before before he was hit. Also it was his shoulder, not his elbow.

      “do penguins deliberately search for the empty-eyed vacuous spawn of inbred hill folk ”
      Why, are you looking for an employer?

  24. joeslickfromturtlecreek - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Muckle. Are you saying it’s not a valid hockey play for a defenseman to try to check a forward entering his zone as they simultaneously close on the puck? Or are you just a troll?

  25. fusionix7 - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    He had time to adjust to make a clean hit, he didn’t. You can see him clearly look for and then aim for the head. Players that don’t respect other players shouldn’t be allowed the privilege to play the game.

  26. mclovinhockey - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    If it wasn’t for him tossing the elbow out like that I don’t think he would have gotten anything. Clearly he will get 2 games minimum.

  27. cambee99 - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Typical Penguins!

    Just another body of a NHLer to add to the list this season!

    Hey, NHL start fining the Organization for coaching this crap and you will solve it real fast!

    List of players injured this season by Penguins (Note they are all contenders in the east)

    Loui Erickson
    Chris Kelly

  28. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:43 PM


    the term troll is employed by people ill-equipped to engage intelligent discussion, choosing rather to out their stupidity with limited one-line rejoinders or name calling…

    twits trilling troll:

    i don’t agree with him, but his knowledge, experience, logic, manner of speech, and complex forms of humour interlaced with satire and sarcasm exceed my limited ability to cross swords in kind, so my safe play is to imply his visit to the forum is inherently invalid because he’s a troll; this while presuming paternalistic authority as arbiter to license that which is right or wrong in a given forum

    and, your query in and of itself, is possessed of need to warp and distort discussion by restating my position to suit your needs…accordingly, you’re welcome to answer your own question since it bears little in the way of relevance to my commentary

    don’t be a pissant, it’s unbecoming

  29. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM


    incidentally, i like your handle…style

    did you come across brooks orpik during this year’s homecoming…?

  30. joeslickfromturtlecreek - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    There was no elbow. It was a shoulder intended for center body mass. It was an attempt at a check.

  31. mastodonry - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Will the Pens fans who wanted Thornton’s head on a stick be okay with the same for Engelland?

  32. muckleflugga - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:57 AM


    actually, i look for employees, there is a difference…

    i saw the first replay of engelland’s goon-shot on an ipad, and subsequently on a 75 inch high definition flatscreen when cbc played the clip later

    further opinion is offered in a later bulletin headlining engelland’s in-person hearing, it ordered in spite of his innocence proclaimed in here

    penguins are headed to manhattan, cue the banjoes…

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Manhattan = sphincter of the universe.
      Manahttanites = fecal matter

  33. joey4id - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM


    get yourself outside and get some fresh air son…

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