I can see why Penguins fans get the tag of whingers and whiners and expectations of two sets of rules. Because in the last two games the Penguins have witnessed the poles of the NHL and the on ice officials 'point of view' on fast paced, big collisions.
Against Vancouver we got to see 2 great open ice hits, legal, and more importantly, let go. No penalty, no suspension, the game is better because of it.
In that same game we saw a boarding penalty from a player suspended for boarding less than 8 months ago. The men in stripes shouldn't have to deal with that boarding penalty, had the department of player safety done their job properly on the first suspension Comeau would not have finished that check.
However against Ottawa, Zac Sill skated through Kyle Turris with a brilliant clean body check, shoulder through the chest, exactly what a player from the age of 10 should be taught.
Here is the problem with penalizing and suspending on the result rather than the act. Sill should have received his interference penalty, because that is what it was, period.
I thought it when I watched it at full pace and it was confirmed from the million of replays I got to see from the TSN coverage. The officials however only get to see this in a split second, and the trailing official only raised his arm after Turris took his time getting up, punishing the result not the act.
There is one common factor here, these things all seem to be happening against the Penguins, why? I don't know why, is it because of the human element in officials not wanting to call every penalty they see against a highly skilled team, or a highly skilled team getting frustrated and acting out? We discuss this in our latest podcast (blatant self promotion, sorry!)
One point made on the TSN coverage was the players need to stop making these hits, well it is perfectly obvious the players are not going to stop making these borderline hits, the league needs to get their suspensions right, the length of them right and get the officials to call the penalties as they are listed in the rule book, not according to the scoreboard, or the game clock.
Today we see Evander Kane take a major penalty for boarding Clayton Stoner of the Anaheim Ducks, with the game misconduct, he may have to give up some of those wads of notes he likes to do push ups with.
Kane really had no need to make this hit with this velocity, especially as he could see Stoner's number 3 in his face all the way into the hit. Once again this is a situation where the player has a choice and didn't care about the safety of his fellow member of the NHLPA. If the players are not going to adjust, then the league needs to force them to adjust, the hip pocket is the only way to do it.
If you decide that the hit is worth a suspension this would cost Kane $486,017.36, somehow I do not think he will be so careless next time.
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