The Chief’s take on Shanahan’s post-season supplemental discipline
Brendan Shanahan has been under a tremendous amount of scrutiny for his seemingly arbitrary suspensions in this 2012 post-season. I don’t think Shanahan has been as bad as others. His punishments have been inconsistent with his previous rulings in the regular season, as they should be. Playoff games simply have a higher currency. Suspending players can be the difference between a Stanley Cup run, and an early exit. Let’s take a look at each play that has required additional attention.
Shea Weber fined $2,500 for hit on Zetterberg
No doubt, this was a cheap play by Weber. However, I agree that it wasn’t a suspendable infraction. Zetterberg wasn’t hurt and it looked worse than it was. I believe this play received more attention because of who was involved. Both Weber and Zetterberg are superstars. I would also argue, that plays like this, while not hockey plays, are fairly common. They just seldom occur between stars, in the corner, on the last play of a hard-fought game. Scrums in front of goal can often produce similar confrontations, but people often dismiss though. I would have liked to see Shanahan dole out a stiffer financial penalty. $2,500 is a dinner out for those guys. Also, not suspending Weber allowed for the Wings to answer. Bertuzzi rightfully challenged Weber. Weber met his obligation to fight. Red Wings won the game for which Weber could have been suspended. All is well that ends well.
Byron Bitz suspended 2 games for hit on Kyle Clifford
This hit absolutely deserved a suspension. It’s a violent, unnecessary hit from behind against a player in a vulnerable position. The head was the principle point of contact. Absolutely gutless hit by Bitz. I would have given Bitz more than two games. This was the most violent and dangerous play in my opinion. Three games seems like a more appropriate punishment.
Carl Hagelin suspended 3 games for hit on Alfredsson
Three games seems fair, but I kind of want to give Hagelin an extra game. It hasn’t been two weeks since Rangers coach John Tortarella went on a rant about how there isn’t respect between players anymore. He was angry that his guy was given a cheap shot. Well…now what John? Your rookie just threw a flying elbow into the head of one of the classiest players in the league. It was deliberate and away from the play. Four games for Hagelin.
Matt Carkner suspended 1 game for incident with Boyle
I wouldn’t have suspended Carkner for this. Boyle had it coming. Boyle is 6’7″ and he threw multiple rabbit punches into the face of the face of the Sens best player, Erik Karlsson, the game before. If Boyle wants to run around and play like a dickhead, he has to be ready to answer the bell when people challenge him. Boyle had plenty of time against Carkner to get his gloves off and accept the challenge. He coward away. I Carkner was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. Which occurred 2 minutes into the game. So in actuality he already served an entire game. Boyle basically played like a punk and got away with it. I don’t like the fact that Carkner is suspended because Boyle is a pussy.
I would give Shanahan a passing-grade overall. No matter what he does people are going to complain. No two punishments can be the same because no two incidents are the same. I am very interested to see how he handles the Asham, Neal, and Andrew Shaw hearings. I don’t think Shaw should even have a hearing, but because he was ejected, by rule Shaw must have a hearing. Shaw didn’t deserve a major penalty nor a game-misconduct. Mike Smith Canucked the refs into dealing a Shaw a stiff in-game penalty. Asham’s play was the most egregious. Serious intent to injure. I would suspend Asham for 6 games. James Neal also deserves a suspension. He has played reckless in the series and his hit on Couturier was completely gutless. 2 games for Neal.
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