Montreal Canadiens: Nothing Wrong With Alexei Emelin’s Hit

The Montreal Canadiens dominated the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night. The Habs came out flying in the first period, chased Calvin Pickard in less than ten minutes, and then chased Semyon Varlamov before the third period began.

It was one of those once-in-a-decade type of games where everything goes in. It was 4-0 before the ten minute mark, 6-0 late in the first, and 10-1 when the final horn mercifully sounded. Max Pacioretty had four goals and an assist, Tomas Plekanec chipped in four assists, even Brian Flynn scored a pair of goals.

While the Canadiens were filling up the score sheet with double digit goals, the Avalanche were only able to muster 16 shots in the entire game. It was fun to watch as a Habs fan, but it was truly an embarrassing effort from the Avs.

With the win, the Canadiens remain at the top of the National Hockey League. The Avalanche on the other hand, are in the basement with just 21 points in 26 games. It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that the Habs won, but 10-1 isn’t a score you see very often in the NHL.

Of course, we all remember when we had to listen to that damn cannon go off ten times in Columbus when the Habs were humiliated by the Blue Jackets in a 10-0 loss. Still, it’s a rarity that a team dominated the way the Canadiens did today.

Emelin nailed Colborne with hip check late in a 10-1 game

Late in the third period, with the game’s fate having been sealed for about 40 minutes of hockey, controversy erupted. Alexei Emelin, a hard-nosed Habs defender nailed Joe Colborne with a hip check that sent the Avs forward flying head over heels.

Many fans, and Garry Galley, the colour commentator for Hockey Night in Canada, were quite upset that Emelin would do such a thing in a 10-1 game. It led to a bit of a scrum, with Emelin running over Jarome Iginla shortly after taking down Colborne.

Take a look at the hit for yourself:

That’s a textbook hip check by Emelin. He doesn’t come from the blind side, he doesn’t hit in the knee or below. Emelin gets low but makes contact in the upper thigh, which sends Colborne flipping over the top.

Avs can blame themselves for falling behind by 9

The only outrage from twitter users seemed to be about the fact that the Habs were leading 10-1 at the time of the hit. Joe Colborne doesn’t appear upset in the least by the clean check, yet Galley was perplexed that Emelin would hit someone.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

At what score do NHL players have to stop hitting each other? What exactly is Emelin supposed to do? Play against the Avs like it’s a parents vs kids game at the end of a Novice season?

The fact is, if it was 2-1, there would be no complaints at all about Emelin’s hit. However, go search “Emelin” on twitter right now. You will see countless people claiming he is the dirtiest player in the world.

Maybe the Avalanche should be more worried about the fact they were demolished 10-1. If it was a close game, there would be no concern about Emelin throwing a hit, like he so often does. If anyone is to blame for the “controversial” hit, it’s the Avs. If they didn’t fall behind by a touchdown, there would be nothing to complain about.

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