Brendan Shanahan certainly has been busy this postseason. So far there’s been one fine, four suspensions, and three hearings today alone through 22 playoff games. As usual, some of the suspensions have been a little surprising.

Today it was announced that Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was suspended for three games for his charge on Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.

I think the suspension is a little harsh and expected Shaw to get two games for it but it is comparable to the elbow delivered by New York Ranger forward Carl Hagelin to Daniel Alfredson’s head in Game 2 of their series. Hagelin was also given a three game suspension.

As I said, I’m fine with these suspensions but I do think it was a little on the harsh side. The suspension I have a major issue with is the one game suspension of Ottawa Senators forward Matt Carkner.
It was obvious from the start that Brian Boyle had no desire to fight but Carkner kept going at it. As Shanahan stated, he was the aggressor of a fight with an unwilling opponent because of an incident in a prior game. In my opinion, it makes it worse that it was a carryover from the last game as opposed to a reaction to something that happened in the game being played. It shows that this was a calculated move. Going off that, I also want to point out that Carkner was not in the line-up for Game 1 of the Rangers-Senators series. I don’t know if he was simply put in the Senators line-up to fight Boyle or not but it appears that way, especially since the incident happened only two minutes into the game.

Shanahan even points out in the video explanation that Carkner participated in a similar incident before a broke a player’s orbital bone and was fined for it.  I don’t think it should matter that Boyle was not injured. If you really want to stop this goonery, then punish it based simply on the actions. Boyle could have been severely hurt and was lucky that he wasn’t. Letting Carkner get off easy simply because Boyle wasn’t hurt is a poor excuse.

I don’t understand how this act, from someone with a prior discipline incident, warrants only a one-game suspension when you compare it with Shaw and Hagelin, who both had no prior history, got three games. I don’t think what Shaw or Hagelin did was acceptable. They deserved to be suspended. But I believe Carkner’s actions were worse and that behavior should be punished more heavily.

Capitals forward Nicholas Backstrom and Penguins forwards James Neal and Arron Asham had their hearings with the NHL today. Given the wide range of suspensions so far this postseason it’s tough to speculate what punishment may be handed out to these three. But my predictions are one game for Backstrom, one or two for Neal, and upwards of three for Asham but we'll see what happens.

4/17/2012 01:31:50 pm

Good predictions girl. I hope the Peguins fans are embarrassed by their play. Being a long time Flyers fan, they have at times been just as embarrassing. I agree that the goaltending has been awful. Flyers will never move on without a much better effort by Bryz. The carafe Torres hit tonight on Hosa was a brutal hit. With his history of headhunting, I think her should get at least 30 days.


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