NHL Playoffs 2012 : Raffi Torres to spin the NHL Wheel of Morality

We’ve all seen the signs, the disturbing hits and cheap shots that have seemed to ramp up lately in the NHL. Things that cross the line of competitive fire and balance, into an ugly gray area of dirty play, cheap shots and intent to injure.

It’s been a disturbing trend of declining respect among their peers for NHL skaters, but last night’s hit on Marian Hossa is one of the more disgusting plays I have ever witnessed on NHL ice, even for a dirtbag like Raffi Torres.

I hate Raffi Torres, with every fiber of my being despite the fact he no longer pulls the Canucks sweater over his head before games.

Early in Game 3 of the Blackhawk-Coyotes series, Raffi “Soul Patch” Torres left his feet, delivering his shoulder squarely into the face of Blackhawk forward Marian Hossa. Hossa was immobilized and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Hossa was nowhere near the puck when the hit occurred.

With the cheapshot hit, Torres makes himself the next contestant to spin the NHL’s Wheel of Morality.

Problem is, the changes we were all promised last year with Colin Campbell’s resignation haven’t seemed to materialize.

Shana-ban has looked inconsistent with the surprisingly rough and tumble first round of the NHL playoffs.

In the first 22 playoff games, teams have racked up 804 penalty minutes, with the Flyers-Penguins series topping the charts in Game 3 with 158.

Shanahan has clearly missed on several opportunities so far, but this is the one clear chance for him to make Raffi Torres a shining example.

Make any excuse you wish for this hit, because it has no place in hockey. period.

Banning him for the rest of the postseason would be reasonable, the Hockey Files believes Torres should be gone for 10 days, but sadly I think that a repeat offender like Torres gets nothing but a slap on the wrist.

Here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

UPDATE : It looks as though Shanahan is serious about Torres, as the NHL just announced he’s been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing. As I’ve said before, this guy needs to be suspended for the duration of the playoffs as an example of his stupidity.

The hearing is set for Friday, April 20th.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=628445

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NHL Playoffs 2012 : Byron Bitz spins the NHL Wheel of Morality!!

Vancouver Canucks right wing Byron Bitz was suspended for two games today for his hard hit along the boards Wednesday night on Kings wing Kyle Clifford.

Yes, just 24 hours after their latest disciplinary gaffe, the NHL felt as though there wasn’t enough outrage or backlash to suffice. In order to restore balance to the universe and raise the fans’ level of scorn for the league and it’s haphazard method of discipline, the NHL sent Byron Bitz to the ever popular Wheel of Morality.

Wheel of Morality… turn turn turn

Here is the play in question : Bitz was given a 5 minute major and suspended for 2 games.

Let’s compare that to this play, where Shea Weber not only punched Zetterberg in the back of the head with a sucker punch, but grabbed his head and slammed it into the glass Hulk Hogan style.

Zetterberg avoided injury, although his visor was cracked from the hit and cheap shot from Weber. The fact that he was not injured was taken into account in the decision not to suspend Weber, said Brendan Shanahan, the league’s chief disciplinarian.

Clifford was wobbly after the Bitz hit, and was escorted off the ice, but was skating and had his wits about him just moments after the hit, whereas Zetterberg laid there crumpled to the ice for several moments.

I’d like to recall another dirty play from the playoffs a year ago, when Bobby Ryan was suspended for 2 games after stomping on the skate of Nashville defenseman Jonathan Blum.

Blum was not injured on this play, no penalty was called.

Let’s see… Weber called for penalty, no injury, no suspension. Bitz called for a major, no injury, 2 game suspension, Ryan not called for penalty, no injury, 2 game suspension.

Want more NHL disciplinary fail? Look here at an article I wrote a year ago following the Rule 48 implementation.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/585992-nhl-a-look-back-at-rule-481-at-the-all-star-break

I have a funny feeling I’ll be writing a few more of these kinds of blogs before this postseason is through. Stay tuned.

 

NHL Playoffs 2012 : Shea Weber not suspended…. Is anyone shocked?

The more things change, the more things stay the same… or at least when it comes to the NHL’s Wheel of Morality.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this when Brendan Shanahan took over for the Campbell, he was supposed to bring order to chaos, reason to the ridiculous.

Instead, we have more of the same bullcrap and embarrassment that NHL fans have had to endure for years.

What was supposed to be an understandable standard for discipline took a weird left hand turn today as Shea Weber was not suspended for his dirty hit on Henrik Zetterberg.

The play in question

Look I love Shea Weber the player, he’s a stud with all the tools and leadership to boot. He’s a guy I’d want on my team any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

But the lack of judgement he showed in this clearly dirty play, is embarrassing and not worthy of a captain.

In the closing seconds of Game 1 against a fierce and storied franchise and division rival, you are up by a goal and you not only throw a right hand cross but take Zetterberg’s head and slam it into the glass like a pro wrestler.

It’s clear the NHL finds that Weber did no wrong, because Zetterberg was not seriously injured.

So the NHL missed… again… there’s still time to make it right for Shanahan, and he needs to do his job and set the standard.

The standard that doesn’t account for injury, independent of intent to injure. A standard that will punish the player, despite the color of jersey and name on it. A standard that will make NHL fans proud to follow the sport and find normalcy and reason in it’s punishments

A Standard for Discipline… It’s time Brendan, please make it right.