Friday, March 18, 2011

Around the Rinks: A Suspension A Day...Heatley, Marchand, Lecavalier?

Three days ago, the NHL’s general managers told the league that they want stiffer suspensions handed out for the dirty stuff that happens out there on the ice.

Ask, and you shall receive, says the NHL!

Since then, both San Jose’s Dany Heatley and Boston’s Brad Marchand have been slapped with two-game bans for moments of stupidity during Tuesday night’s action.

I don’t know what Heatley was thinking when he skated past Dallas’ Steve Ott and hit him with a blatant elbow to the dome in the third period of a 6-3 Sharks win. As for Marchand, I’m not too sure what was going through his mind either – he skated up behind Columbus’ RJ Umberger and walloped him on the back of the head with his elbow.

I realize that dirty stuff like that is probably “heat of the moment” type stuff, but did either of these guys think that they’d get away with what they did, especially given the timing? At least wait a week or two!

Here’s something else I was thinking about: If the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty happened tomorrow, would he be suspended?

If you asked the NHL that question, they’d of course say no, but they might not be telling the truth. Obviously every suspension from here on out will be compared to the Chara hit by people that think he should have faced a ban of at least a couple of games. If the hit happened after the GM meetings, with everyone’s focus on concussions and headshots, I think there is no way Chara gets off without a suspension.

Timing is everything!

My Centre Vinnie

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier might be getting a call from Colin Campbell today, that is, if the league is looking to stretch that suspension streak to three days!

On Thursday night, during a shift where he was being harassed at every turn by Montreal defenseman PK Subban, Lecavalier earned himself a game misconduct for a mighty chop to the thigh of his rookie counterpart.

It all starts when Subban trips Lecavalier up with a slew foot in the slot (which probably should have been called) while the Bolts were on the power play. The two players exchange shots, Subban cracks him with another cross check (which probably should have been called), Lecavalier attempts a face wash on PK, and then Subban grabs his arm and swings him around away from the puck (which could have been called as well). Lecavalier takes the puck behind the net and finds himself on the receiving end of a nice whack across the wrists from Subban, and that is apparently when he decided that enough was enough!

That’s a pretty hard chop on Subban, but in his defense, I think he was probably just getting fed up about the ref not doing anything. A slew foot, a bunch of cross checks and a couple slashes across the wrist in the span of about 30 seconds would probably make me do something stupid too!

Should he be suspended?

Well, it’s not a headshot so he probably won’t be, but I think the NHL also frowns upon using your stick as a weapon like that. It’s not like he wasn’t punished for what he did – since he got a game misconduct on the play, he has already been hit with an automatic fine of $200 (I’m not even kidding…isn’t that sad?).

The NHL should probably give him a game or two, otherwise Habs fans will start to get paranoid and Air Canada might threaten to pull its sponsorship again!

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