Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NHL and joke suspensions, continued

Flyers forward Daniel Briere suspended two games for hitting Colorado's Scott Hannan after Hannan scored on Philadelphia.

Should have been: 15 games: 10 for the hit and 5 for the thug team. Philadelphia has a long, recent history of cheap shots. Until their players are penalized sufficiently, the Flyers will continue to goon the rest of the league.

Canadiens fighter Georges Laraque suspended five games for a knee-to-knee hit that knocked Detroit's Niklas Kronwall out 4-8 weeks.

Should have been: 40 games: 20 for the hit and 20 for the resulting injury. Laraque isn't necessarily a Bryan Marchment – yet – but this certainly doesn't help. Kronwall is known for hard hits, borderline hits, and occasional cheap shots of his own, but that doesn't excuse the hit on him. Idiotic frontier justice is one-third of what has made the NHL a minor league. (The lockout is one third and the NHL's unwillingness to deal with any problems is the other third.)

Once again, until you penalize cheap players for cheap shots to the point that they actually refrain from committing them, this kind of stuff will happen. Wait until Laraque slew-foots Alex Ovechkin or a Flyer cross-checks Sidney Crosby into the boards after a goal.

If some idiot fan tells you the current system works fine, ask him about Ace Bailey. That was more than 75 years ago and the NHL still hasn't learned.

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