April 19, 2009

Where's the consistency?: Not a suspension. Suspension. No suspensions (cheap hit at 1:24 into the video, injury-causing facewashes at 3:15). Suspension (0:50 into video).

posted by kokaku to hockey at 08:50 PM - 8 comments

Yes, I'm a Bruins fan and there are a lot of B's links there, but I'm actually looking to get a conversation going about what seems to be unevenly applied discipline in these NHL playoffs.

Intent isn't considered, but results are. With a policy like that, a failed but certainly intended elbow is fine but one that causes an injury may get noticed. That's a policy that isn't really going to protect the players so well.

Mind you, I don't think the B's/Habs game-ending chipiness deserved suspensions, but in light of that, how do you give Lucic a suspension for defending himself?

posted by kokaku at 08:57 PM on April 19, 2009

There is no consistency. You're absolutely right. And yes, it's a damn shame. That crap by Cammalleri and Carcillo is particularly pitiful.

That said, Lucic was not simply "defending himself". In fact, in an honest moment, I think even Lucic would laugh about that description.

posted by 86 at 09:11 AM on April 20, 2009

Lucic is dancing with Schnieder and Lapierre comes skating in to mix it up (and he's thrown a lot of cheap shots in games 1 & 2 plus their last regular season meeting a week ago). The stick was high, but it's arguable that the glove hit Lapierre not the stick (hard to tell from the link I posted, but possible since Lapierre stayed on his skates), which I see as defending (even if it was with an agressive counter) against a Montreal instigator. I'd agree that he really should've taken the hit, but who knows what my instinctive reaction would be under similar conditions.

But, that really gets away from my point - if you let one team get away with things, or call instigation inconsistently, how is the other team supposed to react? (at some point, an overreaction seems inevitable) And if you don't call it for one team, how can you call it for another?

posted by kokaku at 10:06 AM on April 20, 2009

To clarify:

Lucic is dancing with Schnieder

Lucic is skating around cross-checking Schnieder repeatedly.

Lapierre comes skating in to mix it up.

Lapierre comes skating in to stand up for his teammate who is being crosschecked repeatedly.

Lucic hits Lapierre him in the face.

As to your larger point --- There is no consistency. You're absolutely right. And yes, it's a damn shame.

posted by 86 at 10:59 AM on April 20, 2009

I should point out that my characterization of the events is extreme to the other side, mostly because I'm playing devil's (Canadien's) advocate here. In truth, it was a typical hockey scrum with a hit-to-the-head and the scrutiny that playoff action brings added to the mixture.

posted by 86 at 11:22 AM on April 20, 2009

Apart from the obvious homerism, yeah, there's definitely inconsistency. It's not like we're talking penalties here, these are suspensions doled out after post-game review of film. Where some inconsistency is to be expected in the heat of the game, when the commish looks at those chickenshit hits on late faceoffs, what does he see that is less severe than the Lucic crosscheck? At least there was something that could be characterized as aggressive behavior toward Lucic, whether it warranted his reaction or not. The Carcillo and Cammaleri shots on the faceoff just seem to be unwarranted attempts to injure. In my opinion, that's much more severe than Lucic's actions.

and I'm a Bruins hater from way back

posted by tahoemoj at 07:09 PM on April 20, 2009

Looks like I'm outnumbered here :)

And yeah, I'm trying not to make this a homer thing. I really am more bothered by the inconsistency (even if the skate were on the other foot so to speak). The stuff in the B's/Habs series is great physical hockey play - maybe some of it gets minor penalties in-game, but none of it seems really suspension-worthy.

I absolutely agree with you tahoemoj that the Carcillo/Cammalleri inconsistency is much worse. Those are clearly intent to injure and should be called harshly and equally.

posted by kokaku at 07:29 PM on April 20, 2009

Inconsistency is Gary Bettman's middle name. And results have always been more important in his regime than intent. Why else would an intentional high-stick that doesn't draw blood be 2 minutes, but an accidental that draws blood is 4?

posted by MeatSaber at 12:06 AM on April 22, 2009

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