Everywhere you see this hit today you are going to see the words “dirty” “vicious” “brutal” etc attached to it. Now I’m not gonna get up here and try to justify this at all. But I definitely think there’s a little more to this incident than meets the eye. I get that “rational” takes aren’t exactly our bread and butter here at Barstool Sports [dot] com but I’m a bit of a bad boy so I’m gonna try this out anyway.
For starters, it stems back to this scumbag spear from Marc-Edourd Vlasic on captain beautiful, Erik Karlsson.
I’m all for Making Hockey Violent Again. But that’s some serious Dr. Hook McCracken level shit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the moment Vlasic spears the captain like that, all bets are off. A gutless move like that and now the entire game has changed. The refs are seemingly meaningless at this point and things are about to get extra chippy. Which brings us to Mike Hoffman and friend of the program Logan Couture.
What it looks like here to me is that Hoffman was going in to give Couture a shot to the back. A cross check to the numbers just as a little “hey fuck you, bud”. Happens at every single level of hockey. Little bit of a dick move maybe but there’s nothing wrong with that. But then he gets tangled up with Brendan Dillon. Dillon has his stick in Hoffman’s hands, pushes him into Couture and the rest is history. Do I think that Mike Hoffman was going into this with the intent to cross check Logan Couture in the back of the head? No. Not a chance. That still doesn’t change the fact that he did it. But intent is always a big factor here.
So do I think Mike Hoffman should be suspended? Well… you have to if you’re the Department of Player Safety. But I think there was way more malicious intent with the Vlasic spear to Karlsson than this crosscheck to Couture. So either suspend both or don’t suspend either of them.
P.S. – even the puck was getting a little chippy out there last night. Here it is doing it’s best to take out Brent Burns and Bobby Ryan. Aw fuck.