Sunday, December 03, 2006

NHL Disciplinary Committee an Embarrassment

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the NHL's disciplinary 'policies' are a joke. While the rest of the hockey world debates about whether fighting is dangerous, or whether perfectly legal hits should be outlawed, I am going to continue to decry hits from behind.

When Ryan Smyth was knee'd by John Liles, some people asked if it was Ovechkin was the victim, would the penalty assessed to Liles be as leniant? Now I am asked to ask the converse question: If the disgusting hit against Briere last night had been committed by anyone but Ovechkin, would that person be suspended? Would Ville Niemenen gotten away with such a play? Think about it, Ville got suspended for a cheap hit on Curtis Joseph during the 2004 Western Conference semi-finals. I agree with that suspension, but at least there was no chance of an injury from Ville's 'hit' (which was more of a grazing elbow).

Not only was Ovechkin's hit from behind, it was totally late, it was obvious Briere was out of the play and heading towards the bench, AND the bench door was open. Thats the perfect storm of a dirty play. The chance of injury on from that hit was astronomical. Briere was lucky, but eventually the luck of hit from behind victims will run out.

Of course, Ovechkin was thrown out of the game, (Gastaud also got thrown out for trying to punch Ovechkin, ya, thats the same as a blatant hit from behind...) and he apologized, but is that enough? I don't think so, and I don't think anyone other than a blind deaf and dumb Washington Capitals fan would disagree.

So what is the Disciplinary Committee smoking? Your guess is as good as mine.

Video of the hit in question:

1 comment:

MetroGnome said...

Agreed...if that isn't a suspendable offense, then nothing is.