Well the Cross Check is out in full force here with Dustin Byfuglien. It's a pretty atrocious act and one that shows you what happens when you put the rule book away.
Cross checking and holding (or tackling) in front of the net is becoming more prevalent as the officials put the whistles away and allow the players 'decide the game'.
You can see the inherent flaw in this philosophy as the players who can decide the game get mauled and thus have no effect on the result.
Back to the decapitation attempt on Miller.
This needs to be suspended, there are obvious safety issues involved in relation to the location of the cross check. The fact it is only a telephone hearing is disappointing, it means most likely Byfuglien will be back for the playoffs and in fact probably the last 2 games. Game 80 should not be more important than game 34, the length of this suspension will let us know how the Department of Player Safety value the timing of the suspension.
Once again I do not have a cross check factor in my suspension table. I decided to go with the 'shoulder' variable and use it as 'extended', thus the cross check movement.
Yep, basically Byfuglien would have taken himself out until the second round of the playoffs if the Jets get that far. You think that prospect wouldn't change a player's behavior?
The only way this suspension that is going to be handed down on Byfuglien makes him think twice about his actions is if the Jets miss the playoffs, Byfuglien missing 2 or 3 games could kill the Jets season.
This cross check to the head is not all that different from what Marc Staal did to Sidney Crosby in the playoffs last year. In fact most people were congratulating Staal for his hard work and physicality on the games best player. On top of that, Crosby was hearing about whinging on the play. Both cross checks are not too different from each other, full extension of the arms and strong forceful contact to the head.
This didn't get a penalty, just the same as the Byfuglien cross check. The puck is closer to Miller and Byfuglien than Staal and Crosby, so who should 'expect to get hit?' The puck just left where Miller and Byfuglien are, the puck is still at the blue line in the Staal/Crosby situation, so the 'expecting to get hit' factor the league is using is in effect here.
The lack of consistency throughout the year and the changing of interpretation of rules in the playoffs is what brings these double standards and frustration to fans all over the league.
Here is the table on the Staal cross check.
Yes that would be 11 games in the playoffs, taking Staal out for the rest of last season. Throw the hammer in the playoffs and players will settle down, make them pay.
I've always preached this needs to be consistent no matter what time of the year the suspension takes place, these two hits show us how the time of the year changes the rules on the ice and also the view of suspensions.
Also have got to thank Steph (@myregularface) for the gifs, her work makes this stuff so much easier.
Thanks for reading.