Video Review: Gudas hit that injured Stalberg was clean

On Saturday, Rangers forward Viktor Stalberg left the game after sustaining a “head injury” due to the vicious hit above by Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas. Not surprisingly, he missed Sunday’s game against the Flames. Emerson Etem replaced him in the lineup.

Initially, I was up in arms over the hit. There was no penalty called on the play. The league also didn’t discipline Gudas. I decided to take another look.

On the play in question, a prone Stalberg releases the puck and is leveled by a Gudas right shoulder making chest contact first. It’s important to note that Stalberg was caught leaning which left him exposed. Honestly, the hit looked worse than it was due to the severity of the injury. Unfortunately, it’s probably a concussion.

After reviewing it closely, Gudas just steps up on Stalberg and delivers a good clean hit. As much as we try to label him because he plays for the Flyers, there was nothing wrong with it. In the old days, Scott Stevens did that to many players including a unsuspecting Ron Francis below:

Sometimes, we overreact to these hits. In both instances, each player was caught with their head down. Both hits were shoulder to chest. Case closed.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.
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2 Responses to Video Review: Gudas hit that injured Stalberg was clean

  1. garymaher says:

    Did you even watch the video? Gudas drove through Stalberg’s head to get to his chest. Principal point of contact was the head, and the player was concussed. The NHL has taken a stand against head injuries, as long as a star player is the victim. Otherwise, not so much.


    • Derek Felix says:

      It’s not a bad hit Gary. Stalberg was in a prone position making it look worse. I watched the video plenty and concluded that it was shoulder to chest with Stalberg’s head exposed.


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