Troy Brouwer collided with New York’s Derek Stepan in the third period of Wednesday’s garbage fire. Brouwer hit Stepan in the head as he skated to the bench. My original assessment of the hit, on Twitter and in the game recap, was that the hit was dirty and Troy Brouwer should be suspended.
I’m not so sure now.
Brouwer is not looking at Stepan, and certainly not lining up for a charging hit. He does, however, jump at the last second– resulting in Stepan’s head taking the brunt of the hit. That’s unfortunate, but probably not malicious. I don’t know if the NHL can deem a hit reckless if it’s not deliberate. If they can, Brouwer is gonna miss a game or two. But in the court of public opinion, I’ve got to think Brouwer gets away with this one.
UPDATE: After the game, Troy Brouwer talked to Chris Gordon about the hit.
It was at the end of my shift. Green had the puck and was pulling it out of our zone. I was going for a change and it was a little incidental contact in the neutral zone. I’m glad to see he came back and wasn’t seriously hurt after it because those can be tough plays. I pride myself on being on honest player and tried to get out of the way without as much damage as possible.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:
Stepan said Brouwer told him on the ice he didn't see him. Called it a hockey play, not upset with Brouwer.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) October 17, 2013
What’s your take? Guilty or no? How many games?