By: Scott “The Gator” Anderson
So, let me get this straight. The NHL has decided that grabbing a player’s head and ramming it into the boards like Stone Cold Steve Austin would use the turnbuckle for The Rock, is now acceptable behavior? No, that wouldn’t be correct, after all Shea Weber did receive a two minute penalty for the roughing of Henrik Zetterberg that resulted in a Red Wing power play. Well, that’s not correct either, seeing how the penalty happened at the end of regulation, so there was no extra attacker. But, Shea Weber was fined $2,500, the most under the NHL collective bargaining agreement, so we can all take a deep breath and exhale knowing that justice was served.
What a joke!
This sends no message whatsoever to any player who wants to goon it up with skill players or anyone else for that matter, after the final horn sounds. $2,500 is an embarrassment, though I’m sure that Weber was given a stern warning not to do it again! I wasn’t expecting a multi-game suspension, just a one game suspension. The league has been very quick to act on these matters during the regular season and players have been suspended for far less egregious acts. I realize that this is the playoffs and that any punitive action would be compounded because of the importance of the post season, but Weber’s dribbling of Z’s head on the glass seemed a likely candidate for league censure.
What the Wings do next is simple, go out and play like you did in Game One and you should win the series. There’s no need to exact any kind of Ice Justice here in the playoffs, there’s plenty of time for that next season. Unless of course, the opportunity presents itself during the course of the game and within the rules of the game. There’s nothing wrong with playing physical hockey, checking is part of the game. I am not advocating stick work that would make “Slapshot” enthusiasts blush, nor am I looking for someone to become the next poster child for why there needs to be more concussion research. Things happen after the whistle all the time in hockey, face washing, ankle slashing, cross checking, lots of things. Perhaps these types of things will happen a lot more frequently to a certain Nashville defenseman.
I predicted the Wings in six games with all games being decided by one goal, for that to happen, the Wings will have to be very careful about getting any retribution before the final handshake line.