Monday, October 3, 2011


I’m not quite sure why but I didn’t think the Ryan Malone hit on Chris Campoli was a cut and dry suspension.  It was definitely a headshot but I felt that it could possibly fall under one of the exceptions that Brendan Shanahan laid out earlier this year in the video that he sent out to all teams and players, where a player is reaching for the puck and puts himself into a vulnerable position (see video below).

What may have helped my mindset is the fact that I didn’t watch or listen to the game live.  First, my Blackberry started buzzing with messages from some friends that were asking me how many games I thought it would be and with their predictions of about 5 games.  So maybe it was the anticipation of a terrible hit that skewed my perception or maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t influenced by Malone’s apparent recklessness and borderline play leading up to the hit.  I viewed the hit for what it was and to me, it looked somewhat similar to something that I had seen earlier in Shanahan’s video of legal hits.  I’m not saying that it’s identical but it fit in that frame so to speak.

So my answer to my friends was, I think it’ll be 1 game but don’t go crazy if he gets nothing.  They didn't like my answer and I guess that was a harbinger for the reaction of most Habs fans on twitter this morning.

Now let's take a look at the Malone hit on Campoli.

I find that Malone's hit is a bit similar to the first two 'legal' hits other than the fact that it appears to be a clear targeting of the head whereas the others seems to be a full body check that also caused a snap back of the head.  Like I said, I felt like there should have been a suspension but I'm not surprised the NHL used one of their 'exceptions' to allow for leniency in this case.  I almost feel as though Shanahan has been feeling the pressure from some of the latest quotes to come from unnamed league executives and a certain New Jersey goalie criticizing the severity of his suspensions.  He was almost due for a play where he would come out and say, "See...I'm not that strict, I'm fair."

What the NHL has undertaken in trying to eliminate all headshots is commendable and will take time to get right.  My worry on these so-called exceptions is that the next time a 'Matt Cooke-type' sees someone reaching for the puck it may give him a green-light to go ahead and hit that person's head as hard as they can knowing that there is a loophole out there to exploit.
I, for one, appreciate the transparency in the videos that were distributed earlier as it allowed me to properly temper my expectations with regards to the decision that was rendered today.  All things being equal, I do believe that Shanahan has done a decent job so far but I'm far from giving him my stamp of approval.  We await to crucial scenarios and need to see how he reacts in both of those cases:
  1. What happens when a star or superstar player gets into trouble and how many games does he get?
  2. Will Shanahan remain consistent in the length of his suspensions as we progress through the season.
We wait and see...


  1. Well said. Good on you for taking a fair stance on a hit that targeted a player on your favorite team. I respect that.

    As a Leafs fan I'm bombarded with biased opinions from both Leafs and Habs fans on the regular. For every fan that sees things realistically, there are 20 (thousand?) fans drinking the Kool-Aid so to speak.

    No, I don't like the Habs, but it doesn't mean I don't realize Price is a good goaltender, Subban is one hell of a defenseman and the Leafs probably will fall short of a playoff spot again (I hope they prove me wrong and I'll still cheer for them regardless).

    Anyway, cheers to you. Clicked on the #Malone hashtag on Twitter, concerned that one of my pool picks was injured, your Tweet popped up and I decided to check out your view on the lack of suspension.

    Looking forward to the game on Thursday.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


    Thank you! I definitely try and take a fair stance on all things Habs / Hockey and Sports on this blog.

    I appreciate your comments but we would like to keep comments at least PG-rated on this site. Thanks.

  4. I would LOVE to see a Shanny Video on the CHARA incident..