Just about 12 minutes into the first period of Thursday night's game between Detroit and Arizona, Drew Miller dumped a puck into the Coyotes' zone during a routine play and got hammered on a big check by Arizona defenseman Klas Dahlbeck. Miller's night was ended by this hit, and you'll see why:
hit that took Drew Miller out of the game. pic.twitter.com/1bBF9iMPRi— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 4, 2015
There was no penalty assessed on the play, but the aftermath of the shift showed Miller standing, but wobbly. He went immediately to the dressing room to be evaluated.
Personally, while I don't like it when a player takes a huge check to the head, I'm having trouble explaining through the history of NHL Department of Player Safety decisions what exactly Dahlbeck should have done differently. Miller had just finished playing the puck and made a move to go after it once he played it in. Dahlbeck didn't appear to change his angle, aim specifically high, or pick the head on this move.
The NHL Rules state that a player has a responsibility to avoid head contact if possible and must not make the head the primary point of contact. On a play like this, those two things seem to be at odds, as Dahlbeck's hit seemed to go through the middle of Miller and Miller's head happened to be right in the middle of his body at the time.
What do you think, should Dahlbeck get a call for this one?