Everyone is making an uproar when it comes to the hit that Donald Brashear put on Blair Betts, for which Betts is done for the playoffs with a broken orbital bone and Brashear has been suspended for six games. Now, the fact of the matter is this-- the hit was late, the hit was a blindside, but I don't believe the hit to be dirty.
Here is the hit in questions:
This is what I don't think the hit is dirty-- Scott Stevens' hit on Paul Kariya in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals pretty much was the same thing, minus the roll of the arm up in the air like Brashear did after he hit Betts with his bicep. If you don't remember (and Kariya probably doesn't), here's the hit:
Both of these hits had the elements of each other. First, Kariya and Betts were admiring their pass/dump-in respectively as they glided towards the middle. Stevens and Brashear saw this and saw the opportunity to hit and they did so. Both hits were late, both hits had the blind-side element to it, but only one got suspended.
So, what was it about Brashear's hit that made it that much more brutal and made people get up in arms the way they have?? Was it because of Brashear's thuggish track record?? Well, yes-- that's probably why he got the harsh suspension the way he did. And for that, okay-- I can see that. Was it because Betts' got injured the way he did?? Again, most likely because if Betts didn't get severly injured, the suspension may have been less or non-existent from this. Yet, somehow-- while the hits were somewhat similar, Brashear's hit was apparently much more tumultuous than Stevens' was.
While I don't agree with the decision, I can understand why is was made due to the past instances with Brashear. My issue with this all is that we shouldn't be praising and looking in awe over one hit, while condemning and saying how awful of a hit another one is when they are structurally the same thing.