I am not here to say that the Flyers should not have received the suspensions they have received. I am fine with the suspension. My problem is the inconsistency within the league with suspensions being handed down. Why does a player need to be injured for a suspension to be handed down?
Here are two hits that are very very very similar. Both of the guys who got hit had just released the puck and were looking the other way on impact. Both of the guys who supplied the hits left their feet. The only true differences I see between these two hits are that the Downie hit happened with the two players traveling at faster speeds, and that McAmmond was left with more of an injury then the other guy was.
I do not feel that these two hits, in terms of suspension, are 20 games apart. Do you? What were the reasons behind the Downie suspension? He left his feet and hit a guy in the head who was in a vulnerable position. Which part of this criteria doesn't fit the Phaneuf hit? The reasoning said nothing about speed and the power of the impact.
I am not going to compare this clip to the Boulerice clip because this was more instinctual turning around and throwing the stick up then Boulerice's blatant cross check to the face, which I will NEVER defend.
But you are telling me a crosscheck to the face doesn't deserve a suspension? 1:19 left on the clock, right after getting drilled into the boards, down 5 to 1 and that wasn't an intent to injure with a stick?
This could have been a clean check had he stayed low but he elected to go high on the guy. No suspension? Nearly decapitated him.
I can't find a clip of the Sutton hit on Kukkonen, but you run a guy with 2 seconds left on the clock down 3-2 with the puck pinned on the boards and 4 guys around it? He decided to come up above the guys bent over fighting for the puck and drill Kukkonen's head into the boards? No suspension?
Once again, my intention for this post is not to say the Flyers shouldn't have gotten the suspensions they have been given. My intentions are to show the inconsistency within the league.
There is no reason that a suspension should only be handed down if a player is injured and left laying on the ice after the hit. With these hits that dont result in injury not being called, its going to lead to more and more injuries. The league seems to be only looking out for its reputation, not the safety of its players in my opinion.
It looks to me as the only way a suspension is handed down is if there is an outcry about a hit league wide. You will then see Campbell hand down a suspension. And when do these outcry's usually occur? When a player is injured. Thats pretty much the bottom line with the suspensions right now in the NHL. Its an absolute bogus way of handling the situation.
A fellow Flyers blogger pointed out the new high sticking penalty rule, if there is blood you get an extra 2 minutes. This I think sums up the stance of the league.
Once again, don't respond to this blog with hatred towards me like I am defending the Flyers. The Flyers deserved the suspensions they were given, but there are numerous other hits around the league that also deserve them as well if the ultimate goal is to remove head shots from the game.