Alex Edler tagged Taylor Hall with an errant elbow to the head late in the second period of Saturday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
It’s a bad hit, and absolutely an elbowing minor. With the way the new head-shot rules emphasize the hitter’s responsibility, you have to call this and sadly it was Edler’s second bad hit of the period (he boarded Hall from behind earlier in the frame).
The issue here is that Edler looks like he’s simply bracing for contact. This sort of defensive hit is a play that’s pretty familiar to anyone who has watched the likes of Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins or apparently Alex Steen play for any length of time. It wouldn’t have been a dangerous hit, but Taylor Hall was leaning forward awkwardly, so when Edler leaned back into him, he made contact with the Edmonton sophmore’s cranium. The result is frightening.
For my money, I think it has to be called. But I don’t think that Edler should face supplementary discipline as a result. If he does, it will be because Shanahan is looking to send a message to the rest of the league: tuck your damn elbow in.
What do you think, Is Edler’s hit suspension worthy?