Video: Jared Cowen Elbows Pavel Datsyuk (Updated)

Cowen failing to headshot Datsyuk earlier last night. - Gregory Shamus

The Red Wings are in Buffalo today preparing for a late afternoon tilt against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, they'll be without the league's most dynamic player in Pavel Datsyuk after last nights' Senators game, which got a little rough (in the same way that Rob Ford has a "little" problem with self-control).

Here's the play everybody's talking about today:

As you can see, Cowen is trying to finish a check on Datsyuk and is surprised by the Russian star dipping around him, almost reflexively sticking his arm out to make contact, which comes square on the chin.

I don't think Cowen is specifically headhunting here, but this is a reckless play where there's head contact and involves an injury. That's a 3-for-3 on the checklist of suspendable acts. So far there's no news as to whether Cowen will have a hearing, but if that's the case, the Department of Player Safety will have made a mistake, compounding the mistake made when Dennis Seidenberg wasn't held accountable for a similar play on Bobby Ryan earlier this month.

Officially, Datsyuk is being held out for precautionary measures and the conspiracies are already flying, some more-likely than others.

  • The Wings are keeping Datsyuk out to make sure Cowen gets suspended (hahahaha what?).
  • Datsyuk is also suffering the flu bug that's been going around and this is a combination of convenient excuse/final straw before sitting him.
  • The injury is cumulative. Datsyuk got rocked two other times in the Senators game, including being driven hard into the boards on a big, clean hit from Mark Methot and it's a combination of factors which hurt Datsyuk.
  • I don't know... aliens or something.

Sadly, CBC didn't get all the angles and left viewers with the impression that Datsyuk dove. That's perhaps the most-embarrassing part of this entire situation. Hopefully those people realize the error of their ways or are otherwise rendered unable to procreate.

What do you think? How many games would you give Cowen?

[Update]

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