Monday, October 10, 2011

That's not the dirty play I intended!

Matt Calvert and RJ Umberger at practice
Big stick tap to Light the Lamp for publishing the reaction of the Wild fans and media.

Let's compare James Wisniewski's excuse: 'I was defending myself';

to

Pierre-Marc Bouchard's excuse:  I meant to slash Calvert on the hands, but he lifted my stick!

No matter how you cut it, that is a dirty play with intent to injure.  The slash to the hands has been an area of focus for officials for the last few years because it has only one intent, to injure a player, ESPECIALLY if that player does not even have the puck.

I don't care if he has a 9 year career of unpunished, er, clean play.  That is a dirty play any way you examine it. And from now on, he is a repeat offender.

There's only two ways to police this stuff.  Either the Shanahammer does it, or you need to revoke the instigator rule and reserve a roster spot for an enforcer.  Given the events of this last summer, the league has opted to police the game itself.

Eliminating the slash to the hands, much less to the face, will not diminish the game we love.  It will eliminate dirty play.  Check the rule book.  Its always been that way.

GO JACKETS

5 comments:

  1. I'm a Columbus fan, and I think this suspension is complete junk.

    I'm sorry, but in my mind this now means that any high-stick 2 or 4 minute minor penalty should result in a suspension. Because it's all about stick control, right? And if it hits the head, that's at least two games based on this decision.

    But quite frankly, Bouchard had no chance to control the stick thanks to Calvert. A simple tap at the gloves was turned more serious because of Calvert's own stick lift.

    Or do you think that all slashing should also be a suspension? I can understand if something is sufficiently malicious, but this certainly didn't look that way from all the video I've seen, including the Shanaban footage.

    I know, I know - player safety is important. That's why I've been fine with all the other Shanahan suspensions until now (including the Wiz one). But I believe it's complete nonsense to punish a player for something that had already been dealt with in-game. The four-minute double minor was enough.

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  2. "I'm sorry officer, I only meant to stab him in the leg. It's the victim's fault that he moved and the knife hit him in the heart"

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  3. zekebud -
    When does a two handed stick swing become a tap to the gloves? When is that ever a good play? That's always been an illegal play.

    To some extent I agree on the penalty, but that is the bed Shanny has made. He knows it. In a previous post I said I was ok with the fact that it was reviewed. It could have been one game, and I would have been okay. It could have been no suspension at all, but then Shanny has to explain why that's just a hockey play. It's not just a hockey play. At best its a slash to the hands, a dirty play with intent to injure.

    Its one thing to end up slashing a guy when he's carrying the puck, and you are attempting to play defense. That's part of the game. Slashing a guy standing at the face off circle, regardless if he lifts his stick isn't a hockey play, and it won't diminish the game if its eliminated.

    Matt Calvert started the pre-season in Winnipeg getting run by Dustin Byfuglien of all people, probably one of the largest people in the game today. The message here to Calvert is clear. We are going to try to run you out of the game, because we think we can, and we are bigger than you. What is not acceptable is to respond to physical play by the smaller guy with a dirty play. If you're bigger and better than Calvert, you don't need to slash him to prove it. On his end, Calvert has to show he can take it, which he did by returning to the game, and getting an assist.

    So, yeah, I agree that Shanny has kinda boxed himself into a corner, and it started with Wiz. But I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Bouchard's ability to control his stick. It shouldn't have been an issue in the first place. Hence, he sits.

    Thanks for the always thoughtful comments!

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  4. I think most hockey fans are looking at it backwards. Instead of, "is all high-sticking and slashing calls going to be worthy of suspensions?", we should be asking, "If we are concerned about player safety, shouldn't we take a look at any time a player is needlessly injured?"

    Calvert was clearly and permanently injured on the play, and the cause of that injury was a illegal stick to the face. The severity of the injury justifies the suspension.

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  5. Late note, apparently Bouchard is exercising his right to appeal the supplemental discipline. I'm okay with that. It should be entertaining to hear the explanation.

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