In Shanahan we…obey?

After a wild few games in the NHL his discipline office was full of bruisers and offenders but with some of the conduct seen on the ice, is the punishment fitting the crime?

Here are a few clips from hits that happened back on Thursday.  Wings fans all know the punishment given to one of the players, but guess the punishment for the crime.

Shea Weber on Henrik Zetterberg

Byron Bitz on Kyle Clifford

For the crime, Predators CAPTAIN Weber was fined $2,500, less than he makes a shift, and Canuck fourth-liner Bitz was suspended for two games.  Now does Weber’s status on the Predators play apart in him getting off with just a fine instead of a suspension for targeting Zetterberg’s head after the play?  Maybe.

Brendan Shanahan described his decision-making this morning on WFAN in New York, via Puck Daddy:

I looked at that one, and I’m not happy with that play. I’ll say on the bigger picture too: If I made a decision that people didn’t agree with, or a day or two later, you got that one wrong, a week later they’d try to hold me to that standard and question by consistency if I move forward.

The playoffs evolve. The game evolves. I have to try and keep evolving with them. It’s not like the regular season where every team has 82 games to play, and there’s equal footing. They change depending on the score of the series or how many games are left in the series.

I investigated that hit. I call Detroit that night. I think that he pushed his face in the glass. I was very close to a 1-game suspension on that. When I talked to Detroit [GM Ken Holland], he basically said that the player was fine.

Now on Saturday the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators had a battle of a game, with numerous players being sent off and a major penalties given out.  The first of these was in a full on brawl that was started by Matt Carkner beating the hell out of Brian Boyle.  Later Carl Hagelin hits Senators CAPTAIN Daniel Alfredsson with an elbow and also gets a major penalty for his actions.

Carkner beats Boyle

Hagelin elbows Alfredsson

Now Carkner gets four or five free shots at a defenseless Boyle before Brandon Dubinsky comes his defense, while an official stands with his arm in the air watching, and both Carkner and Dubinsky get kicked out of the game just two minutes into the first period.

For Hagelin he does hit Alfredsson with an elbow that caused a concussion to the Senators CAPTAIN that forced him out of the game.  That Alfredsson had to leave the game would be the only potential reason that Hagelin should be suspended.

But Shanahan suspends Carkner for one game and Hagelin gets three for his hit on Alfredsson.  Again this is Shanahan’s explanation on WFAN in New York, via Puck Daddy:

So Boyle stands up, is fine, doesn’t miss a shift. Whereas unfortunately with an elbow to the head … I do think Carl Hagelin’s a good kid, but he looks right at Daniel Alfredsson, skates at him and elbows him right in the head. Alfredsson has to leave a big game, an important game and doesn’t come back.

We really compared the Hagelin play to the suspension two days ago to Byron Bitz for the hit on Kyle Clifford, which was for a shoulder to the head. We felt that an elbow to the head was more deliberate, it caused an injury, and that’s why we went from two games to three.

After the punishments were handed out the Rangers released an official statement saying:

The New York Rangers accept the NHL’s three-game suspension of Carl Hagelin and will not pursue an appeal.  However, we are thoroughly perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency with other supplementary discipline decisions that have been made throughout this season and during the playoffs.  We will have no further comment on this decision.

The only consistency I can determine is that if a player is injured on the play and might miss time the suspension increases, at least in the case of the Senators/Rangers hits.  If Boyle doesn’t get back on his feet, continue playing and score a goal in the game, Carkner’s suspension might be longer.

But should a player’s suspension be solely decided on the severity of injury the cause another player?  Shanahan said later in the interview that before he took the job that injury would play a role, but not be the determining role in a suspension.

And does the fact that Weber and Alfredsson are both the captains of their respective teams play a factor in the decision as well?

Time will tell if these suspensions, or non-suspensions will play a major factor in the rest of the playoffs.

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