You Be The Judge: Edler Hits Smith, Gets Phone Hearing

By now, you’ve seen this clip. In last night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Alex Edler chased the puck behind the net and hits Mike Smith, who came out of his crease to play the puck.

As a result of the hit, Edler received a five-minute major penalty, allowing the Coyotes to tie the game during the ensuing powerplay. But also, Edler apparently now has a phone hearing with the NHL later this afternoon, which means he could be facing supplemental discipline.

I suppose Edler could have done more to avoid contact with Smith. (Smith sure looked like he sold that call, but whatever.) Or maybe, Edler was looking for some payback given Smith punched Daniel Sedin and gave him a bloody nose – unpenalized – earlier in the game.

While I’m usually of the mindset that goalies who wander out of their crease should be fair game, I also understand the league has called these penalties on a fairly consistent basis. In that sense, there’s no doubt Edler deserved a penalty on the play. But IMHO, a phone hearing and a possible suspension seems excessive.

Alex Edler hits Mike Smith

Courtesy of AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

What do you think? You be the judge.

Update: March 22, 2013, 6:30 PM

The NHL has suspended Alex Edler for two games for this hit.

J.J. Guerrero

Founder and Executive Editor of Canucks Hockey Blog. Proud Canadian, hardcore Canucks fan. I would like nothing more than watching the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. Against the Leafs.

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10 Responses

  1. Atwig21 says:

    Ii would like to see a review of Smith’s use of his equipment to deliver a deliberate shot to the head of 22 which went completely unpunished by the referee. (If a penalty called there then ok). Likewise I feel the penalty called on ice against edler mitigates the need for sup disc. Further Smiths’s history or recklessly putting himself in such situations should come into consideration. Most goalies don’t get run behind the net but Smith does so the question is why? Is it possibly the way he sets picks?

  2. Jcvan says:

    It is know that Smith is a diver. Also his punch to Daniel Sedin later no penalty Also watch the video as Edler goes by Smith punches him in the back of the head


  3. While I’m not entirely convinced that Smith didn’t ensure to give Daniel the glove, I personally don’t see any issue with that collision on Smith’s part – if anything, the Phoenix defender that gave Daniel the bump is at fault.

    But I agree with you that the penalty as assessed on the ice is sufficient. Alex needs to avoid Smith and does no such thing – in fact he goes in with the intention to hit him. What I really wish we saw called more often, Smith or otherwise, are the constant obstruction interference non-calls that goalies get away with – the pick to box out the forecheck, etc.

  4. EZTECH TODD says:

    It was a total BS call, leave the crease and try to block out the player SMITH, you deserve to get checked…and cleanly as well. Now the Sheriff is calling him on the carpet for it…come on man!

  5. I’ve watched the replay a number of times and have yet to see Edler punch Smith in the head. Heck, having watched it again it appears to me that Edler hits him square in the chest. Smith definitely sells the hit with the “I’ve been shot” routine and head-snap, and that by no means exonerates Edler, but if that’s not a goaltender back there I believe it’s a clean hit.

  6. I don’t know where anyone expected Edler to go. He was right where the puck was, Smith decided to play it at the same time, and Smith channelled his inner Daniel Day-Lewis to get the call and the suspension.

  7. rzx says:

    wow, you guys are really a bunch of homers… the rule says you can’t run a goalie when he’s playing a puck like that… edler was lucky it was only 2 gams

  8. And Edler got penalized for it – he got a 5-minute major.

    The suspension was a little over the top considering another player who plays for a certain big-market team elbowed another player’s head from behind and got squat.

  9. Sorel says:

    Sorry, haven’t read all the responses…so I may be repeating someone. I have watched it over and over. Does Edler not block the puck with is skate or leg (the end zone view from the canuck end) and now is technically the “puck carrier” and it is now going with him passing Smith in the process. If Smith takes him out…what…no call Edler is fair game? Hmmm ! If you play the game enough, if Edler is going to get by Smith to keep pursuing the puck would he not try to elevate a bit to squeeze by him in the limited space (did they paint that tapezoid blue and i missed it?). If Edler had made it by Smith, who made purposeful contact himself, the Canucks now have a good chance to increase their lead. The game of hockey is too fast for a “non-goon” to think about “payback” as one person wrote about “Edler to Smith…Gradin”. Shanahan has smoked one too many….with Bettman!!!

  10. rzx says:

    I don’t know if it is ‘over the top,’ but I agree, much more frustrating is the fact that there are many instances where it seems a suspension is in order, but there isn’t even a penalty

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