If T.J. Oshie Didn't Draw A Game-Changing Headshot From Evgeni Malkin Then He Sure As Hell Stenciled Around It
I tend to err on the side of caution with these collisions, so I'm not about to be up in arms over a 5 minute major and a game misconduct that followed the letter of the law as it pertains to hits to the head. Evgeni Malkin tried to run a little routine interference and, though all he really did was lift his arm in preparation for impending contact without so much as veering off course, he caught an opposing player in a vulnerable position in the form and fashion that the NHL is trying to shun out of it's game. Hockey is as hard and fast a sport as sober sex so determining the acceptability of what's happened in the moment is as much of a results-oriented business as ass play. Simply put, the result of the above run-in appeared ugly enough to warrant an ejection.
Ahem, that being said, if a corresponding suspension were to come then it would be more than fair to question whether T.J. Oshie suckered Evgeni Malkin into a luxury suite. I'm not definitively saying that the Capitals' forward intentionally drew a head shot, but I am also not saying that he has too much integrity to do so...
Let's put it this way, if Captain America wasn't basically begging a rival to take the bait then the only other alternative was that he was playing the game so recklessly you'd think he was actually wearing a suit of armor.
Some scorned Capitals' fans are undoubtedly going to need to schedule a visit to an orthopedic surgeon after popping their arms out of their sockets by reaching so far as to compare this hit to the dozen or so times that Tom Wilson has bruised the brain of an unsuspecting opponent. Ironically, what they don't realize is that the argument they've already made in defending their own is made laughable by acting as if T.J. Oshie was some sort of innocent victim.
It's one thing to have your head down looking at the puck as you cut into the danger area of the ice, but it's a whole 'nother level of carelessness to be hunched over with your head up as you skate face-first into the shoulder space of a bigger, stronger player. Given his very recent history (below), the lack of effort that T.J. Oshie put into fighting his way around the NHL equivalent of a moving pick was almost comical, even if him being flung to the ice grabbing his face was not.
Again, Evgeni Malkin threw himself at the mercy of the court when a head, not surprisingly one that's attached to a bit of an agitator, that actively put itself an inch and a half from his arm became too much to resist. However, if players are going to be held at all responsible for their own safety then a suspension for a potential sell job that got an opposing superstar tossed from a game in which the aggrieved party was able to pretty easily shake off the cobwebs and score the game-winning goal would be a bit much, in my opinion.
UPDATE: Holy crap, both he and they actually agreed with me...