(AP)–Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Andrew Shaw has been suspended for three games for his hit on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith in Game 2 of their opening-round playoff series. Shaw was at a morning practice Tuesday before the suspension was announced, several hours before Game 3 in Chicago. Smith was behind the net going after the puck when Shaw came skating in and his shoulder caught the goaltender in the head, knocking him to the ice. Smith was able to get up after about five minutes and stayed in the game. He did not practice Monday but was at a Tuesday morning skate with his status for Game 3 a game-time decision.
Unbelievable. Brendan Shanahan is just consistently inconsistent. Andrew Shaw was making a hockey play. He was going for the puck. He didn’t change his direction to contact Smith. He didn’t target the head. It was incidental contact. I am in utter disbelief. How can Shanahan possibly see this play as violent as the Hagelin hit or the Bitz hit. Shaw barely touched him.
Shaw made contact, so he deserved a two-minute minor for goaltender interference. That’s all. Shanahan has taken this opportunity, of all stages, to set a precedence I guess. The problem with that is…he already set that precedent with the Milan Lucic hit on Miller in November.
Lucic skated full speed at Miller, made no attempt to avoid contact and they threw his elbows at Miller’s head. Shanahan’s punishment….NOTHING!!! This play probably cost the Sabres a playoff berth. Miller wasn’t the same for months after this play. Typical Lucic thuggery. However Miller, even though he missed time with a concussion, didn’t flail around on the ice. He didn’t call the training staff over. He responded to the hit. Miller acted with honor and toughness so Lucic got nothing. Smith cries and acts like he has been shot and the refs on the ice, and now the NHL have rewarded him for it. He said after Game 2 that he was “100%”…I believe him. So congratulations Shanahan. You did set a precedent. Now players get rewarded for embellishment. They get rewarded for diving, whining, and crying. Shanahan has opened the door to the soccerfication of the NHL. Anytime you get hit, just roll around on the ice, skip practice, and let the NHL Office of Supplemental discipline take care of the rest. Disgraceful. It’s a sad day for hockey.
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