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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Habs @ Rangers, 2 Games for Ovechkin? NHL discipline/lack thereof. Videos.

Ok, let me get this straight:

1. Mike Richards blindsides David Booth resulting in a severe concussion and gets no suspension.


2. Matt Cooke, a repeat offender, blindsides Marc Savard resulting in a severe concussion, and gets no suspension.


3. Maxim Lapierre pushes Scott Nichol from behind, five feet away from the boards, who is uninjured. Lapierre gets a 4-game suspension.


4. Alexander Ovechkin pushes Brian Campbell from behind, five feet away from the boards, resulting in three broken ribs, a broken clavicle and likely the end of his season. Ovechkin, who is a repeat offender, gets a two game suspension.


Qué?

Is it me?

What is the pattern? I can't figure it out. Can you?

Actually, if there is a pattern it is that the NHL is trying to come down extremely lightly on star or superstar players while making examples of the lower rung guys.

Despite the league saying that they want to crack down on head shots, in letting Richards off without a suspension they sent the message that they want the stars to be on the ice and not at home.

Since the precedent was already set with the Richards hit, the NHL office felt that when Matt Cooke did essentially the same thing to Marc Savard, they had no choice but to follow the same logic. This despite the fact that Cooke is a repeat offended and is not a superstar.

So in essence, they were saying that they screwed up the first time and would screw up this decision as well, in order for it to be fair.

So why then did Max Lapierre get four games? He is not a repeat offender. Sure, he is a despised player and his on ice toughness is often in question, but that has or shouldn't have anything to do with the length of his suspension.

So again, if we are to follow the league's supposed logic, when Alex Ovechkin did the EXACT same thing to Brian Campbell that Lapierre did to Nichol, and considering that he is a repeat offender, he should get more than four games. No?

Nope. Wrong.

That would be the logical assumption but the league, in handing down two games to Ovechkin, just reaffirmed the belief that there is a two-tier punishment system: One for stars and one for everyone else.

Ridiculous.

In a month that has seen head shots and the NHL's discipline policies put in the national spotlight, I still can't understand what the league is thinking.

With every new decision he makes, NHL head of discipline, Colin Campbell, is making himself look more and more like a fool.


Habs @ Rangers
A HUGE two points are on the line tonight when the Canadiens clash with the Rangers, in New York. The Habs currently sit in 7th place overall in the East with 76 points in 70 games while the Rangers are in 9th with 71 points in 69 games.

A win by the Habs tonight will go along way towards pushing them up in the standings and simultaneously take a leg off of the Rangers playoffs hopes.

I expect big things from the Gomez line as well as Gaborik, for the Rangers. Expect to see Jacques Martin trying to get Hamrlik and Spacek on the ice every time Gaborik is, while Tortorella will do his best to get away from that matchup.

With all that is going on with these two teams, the difference tonight could quite possibly come down to goaltending as it is likely to be Halak versus Lundqvist.

There is so much on the line for both teams and they both know it so expect a playoff-like atmosphere tonight!

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