Cam Janssen received a $2,500 fine from the NHL after his hit on Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek last night.
Janssen left his feet and got an elbow up on Michalek behind the Phoenix net during the first period of the Blues' 2-1 victory over the Coyotes last night.
The NHL stated, however, that he will not be suspended for the hit.
The hit that Janssen laid on Michalek was done with malicious intent. Leaving your feet to deliver a check, and throwing an elbow to the face to another player while delivering the check, is a big no-no.
Don't get me wrong. I like Cam Janssen. I like the energy he possesses on the forth line. At any given point, he is single-handedly able to fire up the home crowd with a check, fight, or anything else he decides to do. As Andy Murray has stated time and time before, he's an energy guy. But, there comes a time where there's a difference between bringing life to your team and the fans, and trying to turn an opposing player into part of the ice surface.
This is one of those times.
Janssen was very lucky he wasn't handed out a suspension. It's happened to him before, when he was a member of the New Jersey Devils in 2007, when he delivered an elbow to the face of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle. That earned him a three-game vacation.
In my opinion, if Michalek had not gotten to his feet and continued on with the play, you could've seen Janssen be handed a 2-3 game suspension.
I'd have to think head coach Andy Murray will have a sit down talk with Janssen about the incident. And I'm sure Janssen knows and realizes he was wrong to do what he did. Janssen is a stand-up guy. He owns up to his actions, whether right or wrong. If you have ever had the chance to meet Janssen in public, away from the ice, you would know that he is one of the nicest, down-to-earth hockey players you will ever meet. Cam is not a malicious person, and that is most certaintly not the way he plays the game.
It was a heat-of-the-moment thing that happened last night. But, Janssen, even though he was fined, got off easy. I'm sure he'll think twice about doing something like this again when he's in a situation of delivering a big hit to an opposing player.