The "poke check" heard 'round the ice

Hockey fan? Checked out TV sports highlights lately? Then you've probably seen Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek's gulp-inducing play from a few days ago, which upended the Wild's Marian Gaborik. If you haven't seen it, you want to. And if you wouldn't mind, indulge me in the following thought experiment.

First, watch this:

Now, answer the following questions in your mind. Is this a clean play? How about if Gaborik doesn't end up seriously injured? Does that affect your thinking? What if I tell you that it was a 5-0 game at the point this breakaway happened?

I hope the video commentary doesn't sway your answers, because I personally think their statements are fairly outrageous. The homers (who are employed by the Red Wings) keep harping on Gaborik having his head down, but Hasek just body-checks the Wild forward into the air. It's an extremely dangerous play even if the game's outcome was still in doubt. The fact this it wasn't makes me think the two minute minor penality for tripping assessed to Hasek was too lenient.

The Wild and the Strib agree. Hasek does not.'s Red Wings blog just reports both sides.

Fortunately, Gaborik did an acrobatic flip and escaped without serious injury. Still a cheap shot.

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