Bropheys Blindsite hit
Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 01:49 PM
ophey, Peters talk blindside hit; Olsen and Pirri notes
Posted on March 26, 2011 by Chris Block: 2 Comments
Friday night Evan Brophey became the latest player to add fuel to the blindside head shot debate. And its likely he’s going to face a multi-game suspension due to a decision he made in the blink of a eye.
NHL observers who recall Joe Thornton’s check on David Perron back on November 4, 2010 would find that as a comparable hit.
Brophey had just stepped out of the penalty box mid-way through the third period with the IceHogs up 3-1.
A diagonal Hamilton pass through the neutral zone put Bulldogs’ forward Hunter Bishop in the direct line of Brophey as rejoined the play. Brophey took a step or two and launched himself into Bishop. Brophey is 6-3. Bishop is 6-foot.
“Obviously it was a bad hit,” a conciliatory Brophey said after the game.
“It was to his head. And my intentions were to just go shoulder to shoulder. But it was a blindside hit and I feel bad. And I’m sorry about that hit.”
Brophey has never been thought of as a dirty player, or one who takes cheap shots while an opponent is in a vulnerable position. On Friday though, a split-second decision to separate Hunter Bishop from the puck in the neutral zone put Brophey in the eye of the current state of head shots, blind side hits and players putting some respect for each other back into the game.
Conventional hockey thinkers would say Brophey did what he was supposed to do. Except he overshot his target when striking Bishop’s head.
“It was an unfortunate situation where I had just come out of the box and the puck came to him,” Brophey explained in his own words. “So, I was trying, like I said, to go shoulder to shoulder. But I clipped him right in the head, straight on. You know, I feel bad and I apologize for that.”
Upon the hit, play was immediately whistled down by official Ghislain Herbert and two Bulldogs’ players charged after Brophey. This all went down to the side of Rockford’s bench, where Bishop stayed unconscious. After a few minutes he was able to get up and be helped off the ice by a trainer and his teammates.
In a tight-checking era of hockey when coaches preach body position, finishing checks and most importantly – never giving up on a play, eliminating a hit like the Brophey-Bishop one from Friday’s game will not come easy.
IceHogs’ head coach Bill Peters concedes it could be time to make a few adjustments to a coach’s and checker’s mentality. Over time, Peters said, he does believe a hit like the one Friday, or Joe Thornton’s on David Perron, can be eliminated.
“Yeah, I think so over time as people get educated and players get educated,” Peters explained. “He’s coming out of the box, the play is in front of him. It’s a bang-bang play, but maybe you just have to let (Bishop) go. You don’t have body position; you’re in a bad spot. I’d let him go.”
“It’s unfortunate. It’s the hit that we don’t want in the game; nobody wants in the game. I hope Bishop is okay. But those are the hits that we don’t need in the game. I don’t think it was intentional by any means but I’m sure the league will look at it and deal with it… you know, the way they should.”