The Bruins Andrew Ference met the long arm of the law and was suspended for 3 games for his hit on Ranger’s Ryan McDonagh.
Is it enough though? I don’t think so on the whole. I believe the NHL should institute minimum 5 game suspensions across the board for first offenses.
After today’s game at Consol Energy Center, the Penguins and Capitals may both see players do time or anti up into the Player’s Emergency Assistance Fund. Zbynek Michalek and Alexander Ovechkin both were guilty of dirty hits during the game.
In the second period, Z laid a nasty elbow to the head of Matt Hendricks. He served a 2 minute minor for elbowing during the game. If Michalek is suspended, I would not protest. It was a stupid and illegal move and he should pay a penalty for it. Being on my favorite team does not exempt him from the rules, just as Deryk Engelland and Kris Letang rightfully served suspensions this season and Matt Cooke last.
Ovechkin laid a high check to Michalek also in the second, leaving his feet as he did so, which he is notorious for in the league. However, Ovechkin never serves penalties for his hitting style, illegal as it is.
I found this montage video of Ovi hitting people. You can see that more often than not, he goes in high and gets some air on most of his hits. Yet, Ovechkin is never called out on it. Ovi is one of the dirtiest hitters in the NHL in my opinion, targeting players who are not playing the puck or in a position to play the puck quite often. Like PK Subban, who until just yesterday was finally assessed a fine for slewfooting, the league seems to turn a blind eye to him.
I would not be opposed to Michalek serving out a suspension for elbowing Hendricks, but I will protest Ovechkin continuing to get away with his reckless style of play.
I was able to make a gif of Ovi’s hit on Michalek, but I have not found video of Michalek’s elbow to Hendrick’s head. If anyone has this video, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am eager to see what comes out of this, if anything. But personally, both players should be suspended.
One of these days Brendan Shanahan will get it all the way right. I hope.