Well it has been an interesting couple of weeks for the Department of Player Safety. Suspensions handed out, others not, it is not quite the Colin Campbell "Wheel of Justice" but I still don't agree with what is a suspension and then how long a suspension should be. I have a feeling on that last point I will never agree, it will take a revolt in the NHLPA for something to change there.
We had Taylor Hall accidentally destroy a Canuck, you could tell he was trying to avoid the hit, he was attempting to miss Philip Larsen's head, and that second guessing is what caused the head contact.
We had the best goalie of his generation spun around by Cody Eakin when he played the puck off Lundqvist's stick and sent that lid flying. The reasoning behind the suspension baffles me, I thought the idea of a forecheck was to get your stick on the puck.
Does Eakin play the puck first? Yes, Does Lundqvist delay knowing full well he is protected by rule 42.1? Yes. My question is what was Eakin supposed to do in that situation when attempting to forecheck that fast on a goalie who's one flaw is playing the puck? I do not want to see goalies run, far from it, and yes, they are not fair game just because they wander out of their blue paint, but Eakin did get the puck first. Where he screwed up is rising after reaching for the puck and making contact with Lundqvist's head.
At no point through the explanation does Burke mention the puck was played before contact, for some unknown reason this is totally ignored.
All of this complaining still doesn't mean Eakin should not be suspended, he should. Hell the Hockey Hurts system gives Eakin 7 games and that is with no history.
I think the process the Department of Player Safety took to get to their 4 games is totally flawed considering the Torey Krug hit (see below) was a player reaching for a puck.
Andrew Shaw gets obliterated by Torey Krug pic.twitter.com/UHtWrE9lJ1— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 13, 2016
Both Shaw and Krug played the puck, if you look at the decision with Lundqvist, Krug did exactly the same thing, made contact with the puck, then finished his check.... high.
I do not see the difference in this hit, Krug had a choice to play the puck and avoid contact, but decided to plant a hit on a player reaching for the puck, just saying, what is good for the goalie is good for the gander. So you either suspend both, or you don't suspend either, you can't have it both ways. Seeing as Hockey Hurts gave Eakin 7 games I put Krug through the system.
Just so you know, it is possible to hit clean in a Bruins-Habs game.
Emelin hit on Pastrnak and Krug hit on Shaw: pic.twitter.com/VcW5Lf42mS— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 13, 2016
I still do not know how Price walks away from the Palmeri bashing without a fine.
I do not care what he tries to say.
Well it is amazing a retalatory hit with a stick to the head of player only gets 2 games. No matter how much Hoffman wants to suggest the stick of Dillon effected the contact point on Couture's body. It was predatory as he was out for payback, it is pretty clear, and yet, this is ok in the eyes of the Department of Player Safety, because you know, well I don't get it honestly. It is these situations where I do not like Pronger involved, his repuation for payback and being a dirty player outweighs his experience in being a Hall of Fame defenseman.
Far too much slack is given here for an 'understanding' that a revenge cross check went wrong. But we know what happens to players who cross check in the head, Mr Dubkinsky only got a game for his cross checks (yes plural) to Sidney Crosby.
It's pretty cheap and extremely dangerous what Hoffman did, 2 games is a joke.
Oleksiak is probably only saved by the fact that VandeVelde did not sustain an injury on the play, with his teammate attempting to make a play on the puck it appears Oleksiak only had one thing on his mind.
But whatever, concussions don't matter remember, there is no need to get direct headshots out of the game. If only there was a way to do that; hey NHLPA, start protecting your members and put in some larger games for penalties, otherwise your meal tickets to a larger cap are going to be missing.
Borowiecki's hit is way more serious than the 2 games he got. The potential for a concussion or a neck injury with this hit is high, and this is why I do not like injury being taken into account for a suspension. Do not suspend to the result of the dangerous and avoidable play. I will say that Borowiecki is unluck, because Radko Gudas got off on a similar hit earlier in the year in case the Department of Player Safety thinks we will forget. I'd argue Borowiecki had less time to avoid this hit than Gudas did on Vesey.
That 1 fine that Tom Gilbert has in his NHL career really does hurt him after this hit with Nick Ritchie, I mean that history of his cost him 1 extra game for a cheap payback hit that actually caused an injury. Oh hang on, was it the injury or the history that caused the 3 game suspension?
Sorry I know sarcasm is the lowest form of writing, but if this is not considered a predatory or pre meditated hit, then why bother showing us the hit Ritchie inflicted cleanly on Gilbert? So according to the DOPS a player goes out of his way to intentionally board a player and injure him, it is only worth 3 games. Hell if I'm LA I'm asking Gilbert to do that in the first round against the Sharks to get rid of Joe Thornton; just saying.
We are in the dog days of the season now, here is where players get dirty. They get tired, maybe have a brain fade, or they just get angry and do crazy stuff on the ice. That does not mean it should be allowed to happen.
Don't forget this is 5 suspended acts in 11 days since Taylor Hall was given a repreive, he made an aweful lot of head contact on that hit, even though we know he wasn't trying to destroy Larsen, players play to the line, they often cross it, how you punish one effects how the others play.
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