Here are Seabrook's comments on the hit:
"I was just trying to make a play on Backes," Seabrook said. "I thought the puck was there. I was on [Alexander] Steen. I was just coming down the wall and I just tried to finish my hit.
"I feel bad seeing a guy like that on the ice. I've been there myself, and I'm not trying to target his head. I'm not trying to do anything like that. It doesn't feel good to see a player like that lying there like that, and knowing that I hit him. It wasn't my intent. I thought it was a hit. It's a physical series, hits have been laid like that from both sides the whole series, so we'll see what happens.
I can kinda sorta give him the benefit of the doubt at the beginning. He probably just got caught up in the moment. I don't think he's a dirty player that saw a chance to injure Backes. I think he saw a chance to hit a player they don't like and got carried away. The hit was clearly dirty though.
But, after seeing pictures of him laughing afterward, he loses all credibility when saying "I feel bad . . ." People who feel bad don't laugh at knocking a guy out cold.
Oh, and there haven't been bits laid from both sides like that. That's utter BS. There have been 2 dirty plays all series and both belong to the blackhawks.
So I watched the video several times. And yes, it all happens within just a few seconds. But:
- Seabrook leaves Steen before Backes gets to the puck. He tracks him all the way from in front of Chicago's goal. Whether he sees that Backes doesn't have control of the puck is irrelevant.
- He sees that Backes is bending down and does nothing to change the angle or altitude of the hit that direction. In fact, he elevates the hit and raises his shoulder connecting only with the head. I don't know if it's an elbow, that's unclear, but he is definitely rising into the hit rather than lowering into it. There was a hit on Backes in game 1 when a Hawk crushed him in the chest but that was a perfect, hard, low hit. This was blatantly high.
- Someone already said this but there were numerous times during the season - and against numerous opponents - that Backes veered to avoid the direct hit on a player that was turning, just let go of the puck or was otherwise vulnerable. I'd rather play a "dirty" team that hooks, grabs and trips than a team of hacks out to destroy your players at any cost.
Three games is a joke. I was hoping for at least four, as with Rupp. Hope Captain America can come back soon and strong. GO BLUES!!!!
PS: Anyone noticed the slash by Keith on Oshie right before Backes gets hit? What a dirty SOB.