Random thoughts: NHL suspension issues, goalie interference, and rubber rats
1. The NHL has faced a lot of scrutiny, much like the NFL, over concussion and head issues in recent times. Why isn’t the NHL changing anything? The Duncan Keith situation is not a concussion issue, per say, but it’s a good example of the ineptitude of the league. The ruling hasn’t been given yet, but it’s rumored that the suspension could be lighter due to the “impact” of playoff games versus regular season games. The NHL department of player safety needs to bunker down and set a precedent, at the very least on the next illegal head contact issue, if not on this Keith situation.
Look at the OHL for example. Max Jones leveled fellow and unsuspecting player Justin Brack with a hit in Game 4 of their playoff series.
You can see the hit here.
Jones was suspended for 12 games for this hit, nothing less even though it’s the playoffs. The NHL needs to take this route. Not suspending players based on what point in the season it is, but rather based on what they deserve.
2. I was watching the Capitals-Flyers game this past Wednesday night and saw the “penalty” Sean Couturier took late in the game. They called goalie interference for it, despite it looking like Couturier was trying to stop plus was just driving the net. That’s what irks me about goalie interference calls. If the player is driving the net and no major harm is done, like Holtby being knocked over slightly in that instance, I don’t think there should be a penalty. I am not taking about players going flying full speed into goaltenders, but driving the net and bumping them shouldn’t be a penalty, especially in critical times of the game. If the play is going the other way or out of the zone, let it continue. If the team who bumped the goalie has a good scoring chance or possession of the puck in the zone while the goalie is still reclaiming his position, blow the play dead, but don’t give a penalty. Players driving to the net more is what the league needs and may also help increase scoring. Just an idea.
3. I tweeted about this last night, but it’s absolute garbage how the Panthers were penalized for fans throwing rats on the ice last night. Yes, the fans shouldn’t do it during play. I completely understand that. But the fact that Florida, fighting for a division championship, was put on the penalty kill twice in a game due to a rubber rat being hurled into the ice is a little ludicrous. If the Panthers didn’t hold on to win and wound up losing the division to Tampa Bay by one or two points, I’m sure we’d look back on this situation with more seriousness.