Shanabanned: Who's Not?

At Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, TX, every Sunday night they play Chicken Sh*t Bingo.  It’s exactly what it sounds like – feed a chicken, turn it loose on a tabletop bingo board and wherever it takes a crap, that number goes on the board.

I’m pretty sure this is also how the NHL is deciding suspensions.

James Neal – 1 game for charging [Shanahan video]

The chicken really likes James Neal, because he gets away with the Couturier hit like a bank robber with a sack of money.  He leaves his feet to run two guys in one shift and manages to earn two disciplinary hearings for only 42 seconds of play!  Someone please tell me if that’s a land speed record.  You know I love the Pens & Neal (still so pissed), but even I can’t believe this. No I don’t want a huge suspension handed out to my guy – but I don’t know other players running my guys with zero fear of consequence.  This works both ways and next time, it’s coming instead of going.

To me this shows the NHL believes the Pens/Flyers series is over tonight, so the chicken did her business on the 1 because there’s only one game left in Neal’s season.  God, I hope they’re  wrong.

Be honest if you can see the sense in this: Carl Hagelin got 3 games [video] for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson and Andrew Shaw got 3 games [video] for hitting Mike Smith.  If those are 3-gamers, why is Neal’s only one?  Alfredsson was injured, Smith was not.  Neal could much more easily have avoided Giroux than either of the other hits.  And neither Hagelin or Shaw threw another questionable check less than a minute before.

Aaron Asham – 4 games for cross-checking [Shanahan video]

The chicken was angry – fine with me. This is a terrible move in a terrible game that could repeat itself tonight.  For all the bitching about Schenn cross-checking Crosby from behind a few weeks ago, this is obviously a hundred times worse and deserves a sit-down.

Nicklas Backstrom – 1 game for cross-checking  [Shanahan video]

A stick to the face for a Backstrom-less game 4?  Deal of the century!  Thanks a lot, chicken!

This play is no dirtier than a million uncalled penalties in this series.  But it is, as Shanahan calls it, “excessive and reckless” – because he can’t say “stupid and pointless.”  Nicky’s not going to fight Peverly anymore than I’m going to be proclaimed Queen of Canada.  He has been run constantly in this series – because he’s the Caps best player.  And he gave it away for nothing.   The Caps got through 40 games without Backstrom this year, here’s hoping they have one more in them.

Raffi Torres – Awaiting the Chicken

You need 5 in a row to win bingo.  Just when the NHL had suspended 7 players in the first round (only 6 suspensions in all of last year’s playoffs), Phoenix’s Raffi Torres does this.  Marian Hossa was stretchered off the ice and taken by ambulance to a local hospital, from which he was released last night [link].  He got into a waiting car under his own power.  Torres has been suspended twice and fined once in the last 13 months [link].

What do you think the chicken will have to say about this one?  If suspensions are being doled out based on some other system (say, player popularity?), where on the bingo board does this load land?

PS: You should all read The New York Times’ Slap Shot blog for this scathing piece on the state of player safety.  Writer Lynn Zinser says: “If you can follow the logic through those four [Asham, Neal, Shaw, Backstrom] — particularly how the Penguins’ James Neal earned only a one-game suspension for head-hunting two players on a single shift — you belong at M.I.T. Or Shanahan’s next dinner party.”

 

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  1. Where does one even begin?? Total mutiny after last night’s hit on Hossa.

    I’m probably one of the few Chicago fans that was fine with Shaw getting suspended – Shanahahahahahahan needed to send a strong message after his failing to suspend other hits on goalies (see Lucic, Milan on Miller, Ryan) – and I’m fine with that. Smith wasn’t suspended and it was a stupid move by a rookie kid. This will learn him.

    And I’m totally on board with the criticism over Neal. I’m a Pens fan too and I don’t get it – Backstrom has no prior history, doesn’t injure a player and gets a game. Cool. Neal has a history (fines, warnings, suspension), hits TWO players in 45 seconds and gets one?? Not good.

    It’s like I can’t even recognize the Pens anymore. They’re talking all this smack about not being a dirty team, that they think their suspensions on Asham, Adams and Neal should have been rescinded – it’s like they’ve forgotten that the Prince of Canada was injured for almost a year and a half thanks to head shots?? Sorry, but that’s not cool.

    And finally: Raffi Torres. The facts are there: late hit (0.8 seconds after Hossa didn’t have the puck anymore), left his feet, injury to the player, repeat offender. But I’ll echo Jonathan Toews when he said last night that he wasn’t sure what Torres was going to get. This jerk shouldn’t be playing in the league – because next time he’s going to paralyze or kill someone.

    But it wouldn’t surprise me if Shanahan gave him two or three games and then fined Quenneville for his comments. Respect is a two-way street and the League, NHLPA and players themselves are to blame. I’m a huge hockey fan but I can’t handle this hypocrisy and the blatant attempts to injury players and then cover it up with comments like “I didn’t see the hit” or “I didn’t mean to injure him” or “it’s a hockey play.”

    I’ll echo the sentiments of the Slap Shot blog – I don’t know what it’s going to take to stop the mutiny. These playoffs are a sad, sad representation of how brutal the game, league, and players can be to each other.

    • Oy. I had not seen that, thanks. The shoulder/elbow is to the body but the way his head snaps back then hits the ice is one of the “player is in a defensive position and doesn’t see him coming” plays. No way for Sedin to protect himself. Was it penalized? That’s an elbowing or charging minor at least, in my book.

  2. Lorelei6903 Reply

    It was so upsetting seeing Hossa like that. I don’t want that to happen to ANY player, even one of the Flyers. Even more disturbing than the penalties handed out yesterday (or lack thereof) is the refereeing in the Blackhawks/Coyotes game!!! How could they NOT CALL ANYTHING on Torres? I feel that they need a hearing to be evaluated for incompetency. I think that the board/dept. (whatever) of player safety should be more than one person. Maybe an elected body that has strict rules i.e. You do x, you automatically get y. A set amount of suspensions and fines for specific offenses. It would be ok for that body to conduct hearings and even let the player present a case to them, but utimately, this body would vote on the punishment and majority vote rules. Then the player would receive the SET punishment that correlates to that offense. These would apply to every player. Even if it is one of the “star” players, in game 7 of the SC final!

  3. What about Shea Weber?!? I’m absolutely disgusted with the chicken for pooping on ZERO when it came to his blatantly slamming Zetterberg’s face into the glass so hard that it cracked his damn helmet!!! I’m no Wings fan (and not anti-Preds, either), but NO GAMES for that one?!? What the WHAT?!?!?

    There will BE no respect for the NHL until they get some consistency both in Officiating AND in Disciplining!!!

    • I agree with this. People have been comparing all rough play to this since it happened, using it as a barometer for what should be penalized and suspended vs. fined. This is NOT a benchmark of what’s okay to do, but the NHL made it one.

      • I agree with you, Pants. There is NO excuse for what Weber did, first & foremost. Then you add in the Torres hit on Hossa last night & look out!! The League has GOT to get their stuff together if they want to have ANY kind of credibility with true hockey fans!

  4. MattyD Reply

    GINNY’S LITTLE LONGHORN AND ATX, REPRESENT! ;-)

  5. Sherrif Shanny found himself handcuffed after the GMs complained about his suspensions. This is the result of not letting the man do his job.

    As for Raffi Torres, I feel so glad the coyotes didn’t move back to Winnipeg. I do not want this guy in a Jets uniform…not ever.

  6. Heather Reply

    Just wanted to state the fact that Hossa left the hospital before the game was even over.

    With that being said:
    Raffi is a rough player and I was afraid to get him added to the Coyotes at the beginning but he has done such great things in PHX. He is actually given ice time and has scored many goals for us. I don’t like how his aggressive behavior is coming out recently but I love Raffi on the team. I hope Hossa is okay and Raffi should be penalized for the hit.

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