Apparently my personal opinion on the Cam Janssen hit isn't too popular north of the border! With all the unrequested attention, I want to personally thank Maple Leaf fans for screaming and hollering, as I have had a couple of big days here at "Bettman Hates Hockey!" The blog has been making the rounds north of the border as Leafs fans have bombarded me with offensive comments. The ones that didn't threaten my life were left below for those interested. It's nice to know that using the internet to hide behind comments that would otherwise be illegal is not just a dream that is popular in the lower 48.
At the end of the day, I want to ask Maple Leaf fans one simple question.
What was so dirty about the hit?
It may have been a slight bit late, but that was it. If one wants to go by a strict interpretation of the rules, the hit was less than half a second late. Remember that once a pass is made, it is still legal to hit someone until the pass is received by it's intended target. On cross-ice passes, this means that the window for hitting something is wider on long passes.
The only reason the hit was so high was because Kaberle bent over. Janssen is shorter than Kaberle, so there's no other way it would have been a head shot.
It was only a hit from behind because Kaberle turned into it. Again, if you hit someone from behind, the NHL rulebook says it's not dirty if the defender was turning into it.
I've seen all these people complain and complain and complain, saying it was "an hour late" and "incredibly dirty" and I simply respond with "Why?" The hit wasn't dirty. It was simply too good.
I used to really respect the Maple Leafs. I didn't like them that much, but they were an extremely physical team that always finished their checks and weren't afraid to back down. They also had a couple of cheap shot artists on the team, and delivered two or three hits per game that could be considered borderline. Teams didn't want to play the leafs because people got injured. Ask Sergei Gonchar, who was assaulted by a flying elbow and knocked out for the season without any suspension. Things have changed. Vets such as Gilmour, Domi, Robers, et al have moved on, as have key role players that fit the Maple Leaf's mold, like Reichel and Nieuwendyk and the Leafs aren't the hard hitting team they used to be. Now they sit around and whine to the media when other teams finish their hits on them. And that's just sad.