Brendan Shanahan has made a mess of things recently after his pretty solid start to his tenure as the NHL's player disciplinarian. But if you take out the complete miscue on the lack of suspension for Shea Weber, maybe things make a bit more sense.
Pursuant to the NHL's disciplinary czar, Andrew Shaw has been suspended three games for his reckless hit against Mike Smith during the second period of game two in Glendale on Saturday night. The hit, which occurred as Smith played the puck in the trapezoid and Shaw came charging behind the net. Shaw caught Smith in the mask with his shoulder and sent him pirouetting through the air to crash to the ice sans helmet.
Smith stayed on the ice for several minutes as the team doctor's came out to evaluate his condition. He would remain in the game although he is listed as a game time decision for tonight's contest. Shaw was assessed a 5 minute match penalty and a game misconduct.
I'm not entirely sure that I agree with a three game ban for this play. However, I do believe that Shaw acted recklessly on the play and delivered a dangerous hit to Mike Smith. I also do NOT believe that Smith was engaging in any "theatrics" as some have claimed by staying on the ice. There is no doubt that he got his bell rung and needed to clear the cobwebs out. People forget that play stopped at this point for between 5-10 actual minutes while Smith was being tended to and it wasn't as if he had to face any shots for the next 5 minutes of game time...so how groggy he really was following that hit is a question I'm not sure we have an answer to.
Additionally, concussions and other head injuries frequently present after a day or two (see, Sidney Crosby's reaction to the Steckel and Hedman hits last year). So who's to say how serious an injury Smith might have obtained...it is the playoffs after all, if you didn't lose a limb, you're probably staying out there.
All that being said, I'm not going to say I'm sad to see Shaw suspended. I don't want this series turning into the Philly-Pittsburgh ridiculousness that was game 3 on Sunday, and while I'm sure a Kyle Chipchura or Raffi Torres will be happy to deal with Shaw when he returns, perhaps cooler heads will prevail before then. Here's hoping that Smith, Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal (who were all victims of Shaw hits) are fully healthy and ready to go tonight.
So what do you think, too much, too little or just about right...or do you just feel that basing these decisions on the potentiality of injury is completely off. Let us know in the poll.
Here's the Shanaban video: