I got a calm Twitter message from someone in Vancouver on Monday. Sweetheart, get me rewrite.
I’ll keep his identity anonymous because he might be drawn and quartered by other British Columbia residents who direct pottymouth e-mails to me for writing that the Can’yuk-yuk-yuks are heartless and brainless instead of directing their ire at the players, coach and organ-I-zation responsible for being heartless and brainless.
Anyway, the Twitter follower wrote that seeing as how I thought Vancouver idiot Raffi Torres should’ve gotten eight games for his cheap shot on Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in Game 3, then how many games do I think Hawks forward Bryan Bickell should get for his shoulder-to-jaw hit on Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa in Game 6?
First, I never said Torres should’ve been suspended for eight games. He certainly should’ve gotten more than four games because he’s a recidivist idiot.
Second, the hits were different because Seabrook never had the puck, while Bieksa clearly did. Torres and Bickell left their feet and targeted the head, but at least Bieksa had the puck. Colin Campbell, the NHL’s VP/Ridiculous Decisions, completely missed that in exonerating Torres. Maybe Campbell is concussed worse than Seabrook was.
Whatever, Torres got nothing for the same reason Bickell will get nothing:
The NHL is too stupid to do the obvious, and that is to make any shot to the head a penalty and subject to suspension. Shoulder, elbow, stick, whatever. Hit the head, go to jail.
The NHL’s problem is that the proliferation of video allows more of its prospective fans to laugh at the league. The Torres hit was suspendable. The Bickell hit is suspendable. I’d give him a game, to answer the Twitter follower’s question. And I’d slap a game on Alex Edler for his elbow into Troy Brouwer’s face in Game 5.
Listen, they were hits to the head. Hits that represent the greatest danger. If it’s a hit from the jaw up, the player sits down. Quick, someone tell Gary Bettman that you can’t yammer on about concern for concussions and then make allowances for hits to the head. The league’s logic mirrors a concussion: The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
The NHL wants to attract more fans by stressing the speed and talent of its players. Fine. Great. Love ya, babe. And the NHL wants that speed and talent to be obvious. You go, guys. And then the NHL endorses obvious cheap shots via some gobbledygook about reverse-side forwards bearing down on defensemen in a hitting alley because that’s what the general managers wanted, even though none of their players had ever heard of such a thing.
Stupid lives here.
This is the NHL’s version of the Calvin Johnson catch. That looked like a touchdown to everyone except the dopes who twisted the common sense out of the rulebook. Same deal in this playoff series. You can’t make rules that defy logic. Do the math: Hits to the head = penalties and suspensions.
Every single one of them.
Seems pretty clear to me. Even NHL wonks can follow that, eh?