Unless you’ve been pulling a Patrick Starr for the last 12 hours you’ve certainly seen the Claude Giroux-Kris Letang thing that went down in game two of the Penguins-Flyers series.
Now, obviously, there are many varied and unique opinions on this “situation”.
So, channeling my inner Eugene Melnyk seemed like a good idea, let’s investigate! Did Giroux do it on purpose? Did he mean to injure the Penguins best defenseman? Should he be suspended? Or was it just some big mishap that, unfortunately, occurs sometimes in hockey?
Yes, Philly fans I hear you, Crosby does indeed hit Giroux first. That is unmistakable. And, additionally, Giroux does appear to check on Letang afterward, which is a #Classy thing to do.
Here it’s easy to see 87 laying a hit on 28. Garden variety stuff. It’s what comes after that is interesting. And for that, we need to go back to the other angle.
At around the two-second-mark, you can see Giroux missing Couturier and this, in my opinion, is the thing that changes the situation. Giroux is falling or has lost his balance from the Crosby hit, obviously. But he can control himself enough to not hit the guy directly behind him who is much closer and in a much more vulnerable position. Meanwhile, he is already looking at Letang at this point. He’s got eyes on him, he sees him there. If he knew Couturier was there and missed him, how can he not miss Letang using the same principle?
Then, not only does he come into contact with Letang he leaves his feet and levers his elbow up into Letang. Again, contact alone would have even made sense, given the situation. What seems unnecessary is the leap and extra arm swing Giroux appears to put into it.
This brings up the final question, was it a hit? If it was a hit it immediately becomes illegal because of its high nature and the fact that the head is the principle point of contact. That is, of course, debatable because hits are thrown intentionally while collisions can just happen.
Oh and of course there’s this:
All in all, I think Mike Rupp actually sums it up nicely:
And this guy’s got a point too:
So, what do you think? Was it just an unfortunate accident or did Giroux see an opportunity in the game to get away with something and take it? Should he be fined? Suspended? Should there have just been a two-minute penalty?
Discuss in the comments and on twitter!