The viciousness of Daniel Sedin’s slash depends entirely on the camera angle

The only goal scored on a goaltender in Monday night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild came on a powerplay that was, according to Canucks fans, a trifle controversial. After Dany Heatley shoved Daniel Sedin near the benches, Alex Burrows rushed in to defend his Swedish semi-sibling, leading to a veritable brouhaha that included a donnybrook between Kevin Bieksa and the Wild’s Nick Johnson.

When the dust settled, Bieksa and Johnson received fighting majors and Burrows received the extra minor for roughing, putting the Wild on the powerplay. Heatley escaped entirely unharmed, receiving neither a penalty nor a punch in the face, both of which he arguably deserved.

To Wild fans and media, however, a much bigger concern was that Daniel Sedin almost removed Dany Heatley’s head with a vicious slash.

Wait, what?

Michael Russo isn’t exactly the biggest fan of the Canucks, having pointedly attacked the team for their supposed antics in the past, but it was astonishing to read his interpretation of the sequence of events. First, he claimed that Daniel attempted to spear Heatley in the face, then downgraded it to a slash, before upgrading it once again to a blade to the eye.

Canucks supporters, including PITB’s own Harrison Mooney, were understandably surprised at such wildly dramatic reading of the play. While I was tempted to contact Russo about participating in a reading of my upcoming play, “What It’s Like To Be a Teenage Clone: A Rope of Sand,” most people who contacted him on Twitter were questioning his eyesight, sanity, and objectivity.

He stuck to his guns, however. In his game story for the Star Tribune, Russo wrote that Daniel “just missed Heatley’s face with a retaliatory slash.”

He wasn’t alone in his view, as Minnesota fans seemed to see it the same way. Wild blog Hockey Wilderness had this to say about the incident:

It took almost an entire period for any animosity to show up between the Division rivals, but Dany Heatley pushed one of the Sedins and he snapped for some reason, attempting to hack Heater’s head off with a vicious slash, that thankfully missed. This sparked a Nick Johnson - Kevin Bieksa fight with Alexandre Burrows taking an extra minor. Nothing for Sedin, who would’ve certainly been suspended if he had connected and would’ve been suspended regardless if Shanahan took making the game safer seriously.

In this fan’s view, Daniel came just short of beheading Heatley, which certainly would have resulted in at least a double minor.

If all of this seems a tad over-the-top and hyperbolic, well, you’re not wrong. But it’s also completely understandable.

You see, the Minnesota Wild television feed only had an overhead view of the incident available for instant replay, and from that angle, it certainly looks like Daniel took a swing at Heatley’s head. Considering that view is likely similar to the view Russo had from the press-box, things start to make a lot more sense.

Here’s the view that Canucks fans saw on Rogers Sportsnet:

Daniel definitely takes a swing at Heatley, but his stick is at about elbow level. Nothing too unusual there: it’s the type of retaliatory slash or attempted slash that happens fairly frequently on the ice. Now here is what Minnesota Wild fans saw:

Oh. Oh! From that angle, I can completely understand why Wild fans thought Daniel’s stick was higher and closer to Heatley’s face.

Combine that view with a member of the mainstream media reporting that the slash came near the face and it makes perfect sense that Wild fans would be upset. Though it doesn’t appear on this clip, from what I could gather the announcers on the broadcast seemed to think Daniel swung at Heatley’s face as well, likely because of that overhead camera angle.

Hopefully this can be a lesson for all concerned, including Canucks fans, to get all angles (both of the story and of the cameras) before flying off the handle. Before resorting to anger and invectives, consider a different side or viewpoint to make sure that you’re seeing things correctly.

This should probably be especially true if you’re a member of the mainstream media with a large audience.

Tags: , , , , ,

19 comments

  1. Warpstone
    March 20, 2012

    I really want to pick on Russo… but he has to watch all the Wild’s games.

    That’s punishment enough.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +34 (from 36 votes)
    • bob
      March 20, 2012

      you have to feel worse for the guy who has to cover the blue jackets game. he probably sits in the corner in the fetal position muttering “fail for nail…fail for nail…”

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • Harrison Mooney
        March 20, 2012

        Nah, at least that’s a fascinating clusterf***. The Wild are just kind of meh. Meh is worse.

        VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  2. Chicky
    March 20, 2012

    Sadly, blinders will prevent “views from all angles” for most fans.

    My question now, can we expect a 6400 word essay from mainstream media folks in “retort”? Anything less would just be unworthy.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  3. J21
    March 20, 2012

    I can’t stream these things from work, but if the SNET angle clearly shows that their impression is wrong, they should be the ones “acting reasonably” about it, shouldn’t they? As I commented on the Raffi article a while back, it seems it’s always incumbent on us to “be the big brother” in matters of fanship. Will any of the Wild backers admit they were wrong? Or will they merely go on about these supposed antics in which only our completely unique, unprecedented hockey team apparently partakes? Is anyone prepared to offer an actual example rather than vague descriptions or one-sided commentary?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  4. Kent from NucksMisconduct
    March 20, 2012

    Lesson, schmesson. It’s because it’s Russo that I lost it, and I don’t feel bad because I can’t respect a guy who spends time when he’s supposed to be covering his team’s games against other opponents blatantly trolling the Canucks and their fans. The guy makes Barry Rozner look ethical and honest.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
    • peanutflower
      March 20, 2012

      “Swashbuckling” Bieksa. The most perfect description ever. Thanks for that, NucksMisconduct

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  5. JDM
    March 20, 2012

    So, having now been corrected, will Russo issue a retraction and apology for calling for an unwarranted suspension before actually looking at the camera angles which would have disconfirmed his initial view? No? Okay then.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  6. BakerGeorgeT
    March 20, 2012

    I understand what the guys at Pass it To Bulis are trying to say. But for real, the ramping of playoff hate between fans is already taking place. The media feeds into it. That’s now their job — incite hate and report the reaction. Some, like Ian McIntyre, avoid that yellow journalism and actually report the news. But with a gazillion sports websites offering virtually the same myopic hockey coverage it becomes tedious to even pay attention.

    Thank god we have Pass it to Bulis and Mr McIntyre. The rest can go get bent.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  7. pulling the goalie
    March 20, 2012

    “he will get in your kitchen, in one way or the other” does that mean that burrows will actually go to your home and come into your kitchen?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
    • Kate
      March 20, 2012

      Like a little squirrel

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
    • Taco
      March 20, 2012

      Will he make pancakes?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  8. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 20, 2012

    I watched the Wild broadcast (all I could find on the blurry online streams) and they didn’t dwell too much on it after the fact, though I don’t watch intermission shows so it might have come up there. I think Russo’s on his own on this one. The Wild commentators are certainly homers, but I didn’t think they harped on about any tired misconceptions that everyone seems to use to hate on the Canucks. They considered Minny lucky to get out of the scrum up a man, they called the Kesler hit a penalty but didn’t accuse him of being dirty on the play, they acknowledged that the Hansen penalty was garbage, and all game long they praised the Canucks strengths, perhaps even overly so. The colour guy was a bit irked by Burrows seeming to go down pretty easy on one play, but also seemed to admit that it was a minor and routine NHL altercation, rather than play it up into some kind of Vancouver villainy. So I’ll agree with you about Russo, but the Wild media are no Bruins media, that’s for certain.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
    • stathead
      March 21, 2012

      Yeah, the Wild announcers just called it a shot. There was no “whoa! Did he get him in the head?” or anything you’d expect if they thought it was dangerous.

      I watched on the Wild feed. Those guys were much more decent to us than the Bruins commentators, considering they consider us the big divisional rival (I’m told). There was a very pregnant pause when they watched the replay of the penalty on Jannik Hansen which showed that he did d*ckall, and they didn’t comment. This warmed my heart, as I hate when commentators mindlessly support every call and point out the crosscheck (or whatever) that’s happening during replay footage that clearly shows there was no crosscheck and the ref miscalled it. (Kevin Weekes, this means you.)

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  9. shoes
    March 20, 2012

    Russon is a complete idiot, however he does have a habit of falling madly in love with certain hockey players…….and my guess is the “heater” got a secret admirer valentine a month or so ago. No matter the camera angle once you have benefit of any type of rewind to go back and see the “heaters” actions you would have to shut your pie-hole, knowing he deserved every stick in the eye that he got from now until eternity. That is a long time..

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  10. Josh
    March 20, 2012

    The only issue I take with Daniel’s actions on the play is that he didn’t actually connect with Heatley’s face.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  11. Brad
    March 20, 2012

    The biggest thing I learned about watching both feeds is those poor bastards in Minnesota have to put up with those horrible virtual ads on the end boards too.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  12. Andre
    March 20, 2012

    Danny Heatley is the Man of Steel. He is slashed visciously in the head, but hardly budges. In contrast, our faker Canucks buckle their heads like pro soccer players anytime they pretend getting a stick in the face. Kes probably (surely) used his girlfriend’s rouge to create that welt.

    People see what they want to see, and since (in any event) refs look away, Daniel (blogger, not player) must have had a joint too many to come up with his ridiculous explanation.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -2 (from 4 votes)
  13. BS
    March 20, 2012

    Yet another no show from the Sedins. I wish he had taken a swing at the guys head. At least that would show a little emotion and that he cared.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -9 (from 9 votes)