Yesterday may have been the most frustrating day I’ve ever experienced as a Chicago Blackhawks fan.
It began when ‘Hawks fans were notified that forward Andrew Shaw would face an NHL hearing for the incident he had with Phoenix Coyotes’ goaltender, Mike Smith.
What was this incident that the NHL thought may have deserved a suspension or fine? Take a look.
After a hearing last Monday, the NHL, specifically Brendan Shanahan, decided this incident was deserving of a three-game suspension. Blackhawks fans were outraged.
I shared this outrage, and with good reason.
Let me remind you that Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators was only fined $2,500 for deliberately grabbing Henrik Zetterberg’s head, pulling it back, and throwing it against the glass.
Our own Josh Tinley wrote about it a few days ago and thought Shanahan should’ve have suspended Weber. I agree with Josh.
There is no way you can honestly say that Shaw’s incident was worse than Weber’s. If you watch the Shaw video again, you can see Shaw makes an effort to not hit Smith. It’s also important to note that Smith was not injured and did not leave or miss any games because of this incident.
Was it a smart play by Shaw? Probably not; but it wasn’t nearly as malicious or deliberate as Weber’s act against Zetterberg, and it should not have warranted such a heavy punishment.
The charades didn’t stop there, though.
Last night, during the first period of Game 3 between the Coyotes and Blackhawks, Phoenix forward Raffi Torres took out ‘Hawks forward Marian Hossa in an extremely nasty check. Hossa was put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, where it would later be reported that Hossa left on his own power.
(If you remember from last year’s playoffs, Torres took out Chicago defensmen, Brent Seabrook, in a blindside check.)
Here is the video of the hit:
In fact, nothing happened to Torres.
The NHL would later say that none of the four referees saw anything, so that’s why no penalty was called.
Oh really? The NHL is trying to tell me that the referees were not watching the puck?
Just seconds before Hossa is hit, he passes the puck off. The referees would not have missed the hit if they were doing their job and watching the puck.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had some very strong words during the press conference after the game.
“He keeps playing and our guy gets three games for it,” Toews said. “It’s pretty frustrating when you see that. [Torres] got to stay in the game. It wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to do something like that again. So if nothing happens to him, I don’t see why he won’t try it.” (Source)
Blackhawks coach, Joel Quenneville, also showed some disgust.
“The officiating tonight was a disgrace,” Quenneville said. (Source)
If the NHL doesn’t suspend Torres for the rest of the playoffs, it will just be salt on the wound on what has turned out to be the most frustrating day for Blackhawk fans in a long time.