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Quick Hits: NHL All Star Game, Patrick Kane, and the Dennis Wideman hit

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to quick hits, where I talk about the most interesting topics around the league. The NHL is entering a break with the All Star Weekend festivities taking place this weekend. But there’s still some interesting things going around the league.

Jonathan Toews, Alexander Ovechkin will not participate in the 2016 All Star Game

alex ovechkin

Photo courtesy of Even Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, we had the first two players bow out of the All Star game due to “injuries.” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin both announced that they would skip the All Star festivities to deal with injuries.

Ovechkin supposedly aggravated an injury from November when he was cleaning snow off of his house (seriously, that’s the excuse). On the other hand, Toews supposedly has an illness, something along the lines of the flu. Granted, Toews was taken out of the third period of the last Blackhawks game and he didn’t return because of flu-like symptoms. But still, is it really that serious that it’ll prevent him from playing a half-assed hockey game five days later?

The reason that the All Star game isn’t taken seriously is because the players don’t seem to care either. Last year, team Toews beat Team Foligno by a score of 17-12. But it was the most dreadful, boring 60 minutes of hockey you could have watched. The defenders weren’t doing anything, the goalies hardly stretched out their pads, and the skaters were moving at about three miles per hour. It didn’t resemble anything close to an actual hockey game, especially on the defensive side.

There used to be a time where guys actually tried in the All Star Game. The score would still be high, but not approaching 40 goals and the skaters would have a bit more pep in their step as well as goalies trying hard to impress the fans in the stand.

But now, it’s a 3v3 format. Guys are still choosing to skip the game, the players really aren’t showing much effort, and the main focus is to get out without an injury or a bead of sweat on your forehead.

Look, it’s nowhere near as pathetic as the Pro Bowl, where half of the players turn down their invites. At least the NHL suspends their players one game for missing the event (Toews and Ovechkin has both been suspended for a game). But it would be nice if the guys on the ice actually cared.

The Latest on the Patrick Kane Allegations

patrick kane 2

Photo courtesy of Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune.

Before the season started, the biggest story were the rape allegations surrounding Patrick Kane. The claims were that he met a woman at a bar and allegedly raped her in his New York home. But the case took some weird turns, with the accuser’s mother lying about police’s handling of the evidence and then the accuser deciding to no longer cooperate with the investigation. Prosecutors said the case was “rife with reasonable doubt” and the DNA evidence didn’t back up the claims either. So the charges were dropped.

A few weeks ago, an anonymous rape allegation was made, this time through a series of screen-captures posted to Twitter and Imgur. The writings detailed an alleged assault that took place in a bathroom of a bar in Los Angeles following a game against the Kings in November of 2014.

Immediately, people began posting to Twitter, saying how Patrick Kane should be suspended, arrested, kicked out of the league, and more and more negative remarks aimed against him. The outburst was pretty severe, at least on my feed.

But then there was an update that came out. The Blackhawks flew right back to Chicago after that game against the Kings in November, with timestamps proving the time of the flight. Kane surely had to be on the flight with his team, no? I highly doubt Joel Quenneville would let Kane stay behind.

Also, the screenshots have since been deleted off of imgur.

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, this is not me defending him. But what I’m saying is it’s wrong to jump to conclusions, and it’s wrong to pass judgement on someone without actually knowing what happened.

I’m not going to say that Kane raped someone and I’m not going accuse him, but I’m also not going to defend him and say he didn’t do it. Because the bottom line is I just don’t know what happened. And neither do you. So if you’re one of the people who are accusing him and saying he did assault someone, or you’re saying he’s innocent, just drop it. Because nobody except him and his accusers knows the truth.

Kane is not an upstanding citizen. He punched a cap driver and has been caught drunk and partying on multiple occasions. But it’s not fair to accuse or defend him of these recent allegations.

Dennis Wideman suspended for hit on official

dennis wideman

Photo courtesy of Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images.

In the Calgary Flames game against the Predators last night, defenseman Dennis Wideman was hit into the boards by a Nashville player. His head made contact with the boards, and he seemed a bit woozy, but he headed back for the bench.

It was a long skate back to the bench, and he stayed along the boards. Around the center line, Wideman absolutely leveled linesman Don Henderson from behind, extending his arms and bringing up his stick for a hit to the back of his head.

As a result of the hit, Wideman has been suspended indefinitely by the league, with a hearing set for Tuesday.

After the game, Wideman said, “I was just trying to get off the ice. And, at the last second, I looked up and saw him. I couldn’t avoid it. I didn’t know where to go or how to get out of the way of him.”

I’m not buying it at all. In the video, it doesn’t look like his head is down during the skate at all. You can even see him veer slightly to the left, getting more in the path of Henderson, and bringing his hands and stick up to the official’s head. That’s not self-defense, that’s deliberate.

I don’t know about you, but when I almost bump in to someone, my first instinct has never been to extend the full length of my arms and continue to walk forward/sidestep the person. So to say that was an instinct, or just a bump, doesn’t make sense. The arms and stick came up well before contact with the official.

The Flames should have put him through concussion protocol if there was a hit to the head, but this type of hit from Wideman does not look accidental at all. I’m glad the league took action because there’s no place for that in the game.

Here’s the whole video so you can make your own opinion.

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Posted on January 28, 2016, in In the Crease, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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