FanPost

Only injuries draw suspensions...

It's absurd ironic that a league that needed an entire season off to learn the painful lesson about calling obstruction regardless of whether it has a major impact on a scoring opportunity, has such a hard time with the idea of fining and suspending players regardless of whether the infraction caused an injury.  

In my post Colin Campbell is a joke, I made the case that by only enforcing dangerous plays that cause an injury instead of ALL dangerous plays, you are actually reenforcing the idea that you can "get away" with dirty and dangerous plays the majority of the time.  You just have to hope that you don't get unlucky and actually cause a fluke injury (which in turn might mean a suspension  -  a risk that guys who cross the line will take).   

If the NFL disciplinarians were running the NHL show, Tanner Glass would very likely be little lighter in the wallet tomorrow and on notice that the league is watching him.   Why?  Because he made a dangerous hit, that deserves punishment.  

Tanner Glass starts a shift at 5 minutes of the second period and attempts to hit Alex Semin as he's clearing the puck from the defensive zone.  Semin is not easy to hit cleanly, and as many do, he whiffs.  Later in that same shift, Semin is once again in good defensive position making a clear of the zone when Glass tries to hit him a second time.  This time instead of skating away, Semin jams on the brakes and jumps around the hit.  

At this point I will give the standard caveats that "yes, it's an extremely fast game" and "yes, the refs have a very difficult job" and "yes, occasionally they are going to miss things"...  they are human.  But this is a missed call.  This is a penalty.

I watched this play unfold and one thought immediately crossed my mind the instant I saw it.

"That play looked EXACTLY like the one that Ovechkin got suspended for!"

 

In going back and reviewing the footage again, I realized I was wrong.  That play was MUCH MORE EGREGIOUS!

Look at how much FURTHER he extends his leg to hit Semin, when CLEARLY he was going to whiff again.  I know video is crappy (taken from my cell of my TV) but I think you can still see what to me clearly looks more dangerous than Ovie's hit...  furthermore this looks, to my eye, intentional.

Thankfully, for everyone involved, Semin managed to get enough out of the way that he was not injured.  But you can bet your arse, if he was left writhing in pain on the ice after this hit, it would definitely have been called a pentalty, and probably a suspension.  

More than just inconsistent and aggravating, this inconsistency is dangerous.  I understand why refs missed this call; they're human.  I don't understand why the league doesn't supplementarily discipline players a few game checks for this stuff even when a penalty isn't called in the game.  I've heard the lip-service from the league that they do so, but I don't buy it.

To me it's bush-league to only punish upon injury...  punish for what happened regardless of result.  anything else is encourages trying to "get away with" bad behavior. 

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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