Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw: "I did not try to hit [Coyotes goalie Mike Smith] at all"

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw didn't waste any words when talking about his run-in with Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith that resulted in him being ejected.

"I did not try to hit him at all," Shaw said. "I tried getting out of the way. Unfortunately, I did make contact."

Here's the video:

The play happened at 7:11 in the second period as Smith played the puck behind his net and Shaw went after it. Shaw's head actually made contact with Smith's facemask. Shaw received a five-minute major penalty for charging and was ejected.

Goalies are not "fair game" outside the crease, according to NHL rules, and the onus is on the opposing player to avoid contact. Shaw has a hearing Monday with disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

Smith, who has a history of concussions, lay on the ice for several minutes and was examined by Coyotes staff, but he remained in the game despite appearing to be hurt at first.

Shaw said he was glad that Smith was OK and able to stay in the game.

"It sucks when that kind of stuff happens, but I'm just glad that he was OK," Shaw said. "He went to play the puck and his stick came up towards my face. I tried to get out of the way of it and unfortunately made a little contact."

Of course, Smith and the Coyotes had a different take. Smith did not meet the media himself because he was getting treatment after the game. But the team's public relations department took questions to him from the media.

"I went back to play the puck and I didn't see [Shaw] coming," Smith told them. "I don't have eyes in the back of my head."

His condition?

"I feel fine," Smith said. "I'm 100 percent."

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and veteran Shane Doan both made sure to call Shaw's hit a head shot.

"I mean he hits a goalie the head," Doan said. "They want to get rid of blows to the head, period. Trust me, I know. It's a blow to our goalie's head behind the net and I know that the GM's had talked about how that's something they definitely want to make sure that doesn't ever get into the game, and we've got to protect our goalies."

Said Tippett: "The league will look at that. Obviously, that's contact at the head and it doesn't matter if it's a goaltender or a player. That's blindside contact to the head."

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews conferred with the on-ice officials while Smith lay on the ice and Shaw sat in the penalty box. Toews said the referees took Smith's condition into account when deciding to give Shaw more than a two-minute minor.

"I don't know if it came down to whether the officials thought Smith was going to stay in the game or not," Toews said. "Obviously, they thought he was done and that's probably why we got the five-minute penalty.

"From what I saw, Shaw wasn't trying to go in there and take his head off or anything. If anything, he didn't even try and protect himself. I mean it's a quick play. As far as I know, he was trying to avoid contact there. It's unfortunate that happens. We'll see what happens."

(Image source: AP)

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9 Comments

looks like he was going hard to the puck,barely hit him,maybe a little acting?

TOTAL embellishment by Smith there...overly dramatic. But, c'mon, how is putting your shoulder to the guy's head trying to get out of the way?

If you take a close look at the video replay, Shaw made a concerted and demonstrable effort to pull up ant not hit Smith with full force. This goes with the spirit of the NHL charging rule. Of course the ref had no choice to toss Shaw. But, the league honchos in Toronto should consider the replay from the camera angle from the end of the goal line to Smith's left, which clearly shows Shaw's attempt to pull back. BTW, the hit was head to head, not shoulder to head. Replays from multiple angles showed this. Lastly, although the NHL charging rule clearly states that a goalie being out of his crease doesn't make him a target, it does. The players and coaches know it but can't say it. This is what game flow is about. Hockey is a fast, beautiful and sometimes violent sport This incident is a prime example of it. if the NHL is trying to legislate violence from the game, they'll fail. The next time that Smith played the puck behind the net after Shaw's hit, he took a look to make sure no players were coming around the boards. Good for him. He's well-known for being a good stick-handling, roving goalie. For the sake of self-preservation, most goalies don't handle the puck this way. If a goalie handles the puck with impunity and doesn't expect some kind of contact, that's on him.

Gosh Tim I wish Shanahan would just read your post because there wouldn't even be a need for a "hearing". Perfectly summarized and RIGHT ON the money. Unfortunately the powers that be can use this as another opportunity to control the players and add their own impact to the series. Small market Nashville, no suspension, large market Chicago, just watch and see.

I'm all for protecting the players and taking head contact out of the sport but the recent "non" suspension of Weber has tainted me on the "system". In that case they must have flipped a coin.

Should not have been an ejection or any suspension...Goalies as far as I am concerned are fair game if the are not in the crease...just saying. Nice soccer flop to Smith, but hope he's ok all the same.

Goalie Smith should be givin an Oscar! He should of been given a penalty for his exaggerated dive and they should hav a rule if a goalie appears hurt he must leave the game!

So much for the NHL concussion protocol. It looked liked Shaw had reeled up one big fish there for a while. Where were the 2 minutes for diving?

Oh and Pot (Doan), this is the kettle...

Tim Gotsch you are the man!

That hit is completely unnaceptible. God job, Brendan shanahan

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on April 15, 2012 12:49 AM.

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