Is This Not Why You Are Here: Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)

If someone could find a way to bottle up the instant adrenaline rush and pure joy that comes with a playoff overtime celebration, there would be world peace, no starving babies, and a thriving world economy.  A Patrick Sharp re-direction with 6 seconds left in regulation and a Bryan Bickell overtime winner supplied all of Blackhawks nation with a B-12 shot sure to last to Tuesday.

–By the time most of you read this, there will likely be a decision on Andrew Shaw’s interference of Mike Smith.  We should also know soon if Mike Smith will be released from intensive care and be able to live out his days comfortably.

You would think with the ample amount of head shots we’ve seen in the last two years, people (see: referees) would know when a guy truly gets knocked in the head and when a guy acts like a Battle of the Bulge casualty.  David Booth and Dean McAmmond are two hits that come to mind when they were blindsided with hits to the head and laid motionless on the ice.

Mike Smith had the complete opposite reaction of that.  So when he screamed bloody murder as though his insides were laying on the ice, the referees were left no choice but to hand Shaw a 5 minute major and game misconduct.  A 2 minute minor became a game changing penalty and now Shaw faces a possible suspension because of it, all at the hands of a guy milking every ounce of unnecessary contact.

Shaw could have stopped rather than continue his forward motion but it’s not like he raised his elbows or lowered his shoulder on Smith.  Nay, he made contact so he should have been penalized but not to the extent he was.

It’s ironic that the contact made was in the exact same spot as Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook last year.  Torres, of course, went for the kill shot on a defenseless Seabrook knocking him out of two games.  Torres was given the same penalty as Shaw and avoided any kind of suspension.

Shaw faces the possibility of one even though a) Smith was able to finish the game and b) he didn’t look to end Smith’s life even though he had the same opportunity as Torres.

Of course, goalies are protected differently than skaters, but nevertheless, a suspension to Shaw would be ridiculous in every sense of the word.

–Joel Quenneville continues to search for a stellar top 6 combination that will push more goals past Mike Smith.  The good news is that Dave Bolland’s line is having a terrific series thus far.  Bolland and Bickell have picked up right where they left off after last year’s playoff.

The less encouraging news is Marcus Kruger appears to be struggling with the Coyotes clutch and grab ways among other things.  With Kruger not able to provide any kind of offensive spark for his skilled line mates, it forces Quenneville to do things like move Patrick Kane back to center and split he and Jonathan Toews up.

The key to the Hawks winning this series will be finding a combination other than Bolland’s line, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Brent Seabrook to provide offensive results.

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15 Responses to Is This Not Why You Are Here: Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)

  1. CT says:

    “It’s ironic that the contact made was in the exact same spot as Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook last year.”

    No, it’s coincidental.

  2. Otter says:

    Good Lord, the Coyotes are the worst team to watch play hockey… This series can’t end soon enough, even if the Yotes move on, at least I won’t have to watch them.

    It will be interesting to see what the NHL decides with Shaw. After watching the two videos from the Rangers/Sens game; I’m starting to think that Shaw won’t get anything. Intent is a huge factor, and Shaw’s intent isn’t there. He just took a stupid penalty, which is what’s getting lost in all this. It was a dumb penalty.

    I’m wondering if the clutching and grabbing of the Yotes is going to land them in the box more with the Hawks at home. We can only hope… (well with the Hawks PP, careful what I wish for, eh?)

  3. chucwagn says:

    well just take a look at Smiths hit/ interferance on Towes… of course he was “defending” himself but come on. Smith is how big compared to Shaw? If he gets suspended Pens/ Flyers should get life in prison.

  4. Grunfeld says:

    Keith Jones on NBC completely bought Smith’s theatrics and said Shaw should get ‘at least one game.’

  5. CT says:

    Actually, the biggest factor in these suspensions (or non-suspensions) appears to have been result, NOT intent. Guys whose cheap shots have been viscious but not resulted in injuries (Carkner, Weber) have gotten off with lighter (or no) sentences than guys whose hits have inflicted injuries.

    Based on this, I expect Shaw to be fined but not suspended.

    Which means he’ll probably get 4 games.

  6. Cam says:

    Haven’t been impressed with the Hawks thus far, but then I wasn’t expecting to be. They don’t handle patient, strong forchecking teams well. Plus the special teams continue to blow. Crawford’s the only reason they aren’t down 2-0.

    And I’d expect Shaw to be suspended because of all the ridiculous “outrage” over other questionable hits in the playoffs. The atmosphere couldn’t be worse for Shaw’s prospects even though that was at worst a 2-minute penalty.

  7. Chicago Gunner says:

    Mike Smith should have had to leave the game for baseline concussion testing. By staying in the game, the Coyotes should have at least received a 2:00 delay of game penalty. If the NHL is going to punish players based on apparent injury, NHL players will (and should) start diving.

  8. Cam says:

    Shaw gets 3 games which makes sense in an alternative universe. In the current atmosphere and with the NHL being idiotic, did anyone really expect anything else?

  9. Otter says:

    Cam, the only thing I can figure is that the NHL is convinced that Shaw did one of those “I’m going to pretend to make it look like I’m not trying to kill him, but I’m going to try an kill him”. Compared to the Hagelin elbow, Shaw got totally screwed over by the NHL. However, I still think the Hawks caught a major break with the Keith elbow; that could have been 10 games I wouldn’t have had an issue with it.

    But what’s done is done, and hopefully the NHL will take enough crap that they’ll finally just put in some baseline rules on hits to the head. Any accidental hit to the head is three games, elbow to the head, ten games, etc.

  10. Jim says:

    Sadly, this brings the NHL closer to a pro wrestling than to a major sport. They need to develop a spreadsheet of offenses in one column, with a punishment in the second column. Quit making interpretations, it can lead to no good. It’s not the punishment against Shaw that is the problem, it’s the inconsistency, and the message it sends to the players.

    Shanahan had to posture as tough after the flak he’s received for the Shea Weber slap in the wrist. And Shaw gave him the perfect opportunity. Clearly, Smith acted on the play by staying on the ground until the game misconduct was called, and then he popped right up with no further medical testing. It was a puss move, and his bad karma immediately caught up to him with the tying goal in the waning seconds, and Bickell’s 5 hole wrister in OT.

  11. Cam says:

    Be grateful though. According to Darren Dreger, the arrogant SOB’s at NHL headquarters said Shaw would’ve sat the rest of the series had Smith been “injured”.

  12. Jim says:

    After seeing Hossa get leveled by Torres, (and zero penalty by the way), I’m actually starting to consider not watching hockey any more. I want to see a skill game, this is just a game of attrition on star players. Let’s review, Shaw avoids hitting their star, he flops, and we get a 5 minute and an ejection, plus 3 games. Torres destroys Hossa, he leaves on a stretcher, and….nothing?

    It’s a shame, I love hockey, but skill players are destroyed out there by hacks like Torres and Matt Cooke. How long before somebody lines up Kane? Sharp? Toews again? I can’t watch this crap.

  13. Cam says:

    And now Hossa’s done and the Hawks look to be as well. They’re not even making Smith stand on his head and yet are lucky they’re not down 3-0.

  14. cb says:

    The idea of “the powerplay as the new enforcer” was cute, clever, and enticing; too bad it’s just not true. Vigilante justice is more important than it ever was. It’s a shame the Hawks missed their chance to sign Bertuzzi for next year, though Carcillo may be a decent substitute. To hell with hockey, I’m just looking forward to someone giving Torres a hefty two-handed slash to the head next year.

  15. cb says:

    I’m glad to hear others are considering no longer watching the NHL. No one wants to feel that they’re supporting immoral behavior. Which is to say nothing of the arbitrary nature of injuries/punishments.

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