Fear of suspension has players reluctant to throw big checks, says Detroit Red Wings' Kyle Quincey
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey isn't afraid to throw a big check. But he is fearful of what might happen if he connects. Changes in the NHL rules aimed at protecting players from concussions have made Quincey hesitant to risk penalties or suspensions by landing a big hit on opponents. After teammate Justin Abdelkader was ejected Saturday from Game 3 of the Red Wings' playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks for a charging major that knocked Toni Lydman out of the game, Quincey admitted he's had to change his way of thinking since he was suspended a year ago for a big hit of his own. "For a defenseman, there's risk-reward to hit anybody now," Quincey said. "There's no point. The chances of hitting a guy clean and not getting a suspension are very slim. I just try to stay between the dots and keep it simple, I guess "Just look at the game tapes from years ago to now. There's not those huge hits you see in the corner. Very seldom. It's all in the forecheck. We're not allowed to hold up for our partner so they come in 100 mph on us but we never get that momentum to hit them. That's the difference. "The game has changed. It is what it is. I don't know if it's sad. Like I said the risk-reward of trying to make that huge hit isn't there. There's no point. Abby is in totally different shoes than me. As a forward, that's his job. My job is to be tough in front of the net. I'm not going to make the highlight reel with a box out." Abdelkader certainly made the highlight reels with his huge hit on Lydman, which gave the Ducks the five-minute power play that led to the game's first goal in a 4-0 victory over the Red Wings. No penalty was originally called on Abdelkader but after the play was reviewed, he was hit the major, game misconduct and perhaps a suspension once the NHL takes another look at the incident today. The play reminded Quincey of a similar incident he was involved in a year ago, when he received a one-game suspension after picking up a five-minor major for elbowing Florida's Tomas Kopecky after a big hit. Quincey thought he was suspended because it looked as if he left his feet when he hit Kopecky. Quincey doesn't think Abdelkader's hit warrants a similar punishment because momentum was the reason Abdelkader appeared to leave his feet after the hit.
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting and The Sports Xchange. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.