A few moments ago, Brendan Shanahan and the rest of the Department of Player Safety suspended Claude Giroux one game for his headhunt on Dainius Zubrus in last night's 4 - 2, Game 4 loss --
Like I mentioned in my article earlier this morning, Giroux's temper tantrum he threw on the shift in question did not help his case in the least, and further proved to Shanahan that Claude was a negatively-charged assault waiting to happen.
Giroux was suspended for violating Rule 48 in the NHL's rulebook which is defined as follows:
48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted.
Shanahan took into account that Zubrus was not injured and returned to play, and Claude Giroux has no prior history to supplementary League discipline.
Many say Giroux deserves this suspension. Does he? Probably. But that is not what gets me raged.
For the next 100 years, NHL fans will point back to the Shea Weber incident in Game 1 of the Detroit vs Nashville Western Conference QuarterFinals as a comparative reference for ALL disciplinary action(s) --
Weber received a $2,500 fine (the maximum dollar fine allowed by the League's CBA), but no suspension. Shea literally grabbed the back of Zetterberg's skull and crushed his head into the pane of glass, disorienting Zetterberg but ultimately not injuring him.
Zetterberg returned to play in Game 2.
But that wasn't even a hockey play. It's something we see from the WWE and similar genres of professional wrestling entertainment. How on earth is Claude Giroux's shot on Zubrus more suspendable than Shea Weber's Street Fighter move he pulled at the end of a match?
Answer: It isn't.
This is what angers me. The League's supplementary discipline decisions are about as consistent as pubes on a burn victim. How does the NHL (or Brendan Shanahan) answer to these observations?
Answer: They don't. He doesn't.
Tell me, what is the difference between Giroux's shoulder on Zubrus, and the countless times Evgeni Malkin raised his elbow or a shoulder on our players' heads all post-season series long? There isn't one. There is no difference.
However someone did get injured after receiving one of these hits from Malkin.
Niklas Grossmann. Who suffered a fucking concussion from Geno leaping at his head way behind the play. Did Malkin get a call from Shanahan? No. Did any one of his dozen (or so) controversial hits get placed under the microscope and examined by the eye of Rule 48?
Nope. Not at all.
It's not so much that Claude Giroux's getting suspended for Game 5 -- an elimination game for the Flyers, mind you -- that's got me chapped. It's the fact there's shit-flinging monkeys in the NHL's office turning the face of this League/sport into a laughingstock.
"But James Neal got suspended for Game 4, also an elimination game, after swinging his elbow over Giroux's head in Game 3."
So? Is that supposed to prove consistency? All I have to do is point my finger back in the direction of the Shea Weber incident.
Shanahan argues that the game is always evolving. The players, the system, the strategies, the snarl and the speed. All elements of hockey that continue to take steps in different directions with each waking day. So for that, Shanahan's disciplinary decision-making is also....always evolving.
The only thing evolving is the bucket of horseshit festering in that hollowed toilet Brendan Shanahan calls his head.
Check out The Pack on Facebook!
You can follow Michael DeNicola on Twitter: @MikeyD_OandBP
Send us your feedback to OrangeAndBlackPack@Gmail.com