Monday, April 27, 2009

Judging The Judgement

The word came down earlier that Donald Brashear will be suspended one game for his pregame antics, and five for his hit on Blair Betts.

The one game is basically an "our bad" by the league as it was their fault that he wasn't caught until they saw it on the news after the game. Even if Brash had been properly removed, had Colton Orr been playing you can be sure Brash wouldn't have just gone after any Ranger jersey and instead gone looking to get retribution against the guy who has handed him his lunch before. Or, more likely, gone after the guy who's job would have been to be around him and keep him in line.

Regardless, Brashear made the hit and he has to pay the piper to the tune of five games for it. There are several ways that you have to look at it. Brashear is a prior offender who often attempts to injure his opponents. He is not a skill player, his lone job is to play enforcer for a guy who doesn't need a bodyguard so he doesn't even play night in and night out. (Colton Orr did play every game, until Tortorella's Game 6 folly but we won't go there.)

Chris Simon was a prior offender and a useless goon who 'lost his mind' and hit the first person he saw. Ryan Hollweg took some stitches and was able to play, while Bettsy is done for the year (and perhaps has played his last game as a Ranger, given Sather's stupidity). So you can say that what Brashear did was comparable to, if not worse than, what Simon did and he got a lesser sentence.

The other Chris - Pronger - was also a regular offender and he unleashed a clearer, more vicious elbow at the head of Dean McCammond. That hit was in the playoffs and Pronger got one game for it. At the time they said the length was because of the gravity of the lost game - a Stanley Cup Final. This incident was in the opening round and it was done by someone who wasn't as important to his team and not a superstar. So six games for Brashear seems on the money in comparison to that.

But the final verdict is that you can't compare the events. Puck Daddy believes that the league got it right and that it is a fair ruling because it essentially knocks the role player out for a full series. I personally disagree as it put a player's livelihood at risk with an intentional high hit. If someone decides to play Tim "Dr. Hook" McCracken and chops at a head, you can believe that there will be more than a six game suspension. How is this any different? An intent to injure is an intent to injure. Brashear got hit and he wanted to lash out and hurt someone. And he did.

There has never been a clear-cut ruling to base future events upon. Politics, profile and the personal opinion of the judge all play into the equation. Considering that the track record of said judge is quite dubious, perhaps it is time for a new judge? As that isn't likely to happen, what will occur is that the Caps will get their captain back in the lineup, the Rangers lost their top penalty killer and likely the series and the NHL could very well get the dream matchup of Crosby v. Ovie. I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that this was intended from the start - there is still a little integrity left in the front office ... somewhere - but I certainly don't think the league minds.

11 comments:

Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...

There has never been a clear-cut ruling to base future events upon. Politics, profile and the personal opinion of the judge all play into the equation. Considering that the track record of said judge is quite dubious, perhaps it is time for a new judge? As that isn't likely to happen.. NHL could very well get the dream matchup of Crosby v. Ovie. I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that this was intended from the start - there is still a little integrity left in the front office ... somewhere - but I certainly don't think the league minds.

~BINGO~

Anonymous said...

It's a fair ruling until you consider the fact that Avery hasn't been suspended for hitting Jurcina with the butt end of his stick or putting his stick to Ovechkin's throat or all his other nonsense. Thankfully for the Caps Avery is one of the Caps MVP's this series.


Eric

Schram said...

Thanks Gary Bettman for being the lousy piece of shit commissioner that you are. People like Broshear or Simon shouldn't be playing hockey. They should ban him, and if the Rangers aren't going to win tomorrow (if the score is impossible), Orr better take out somebody (cleanly) and make sure they learned not to mess with us.
Perferably Tom Poti, lol.

Scotty Hockey said...

Amazing that when I even say that I don't believe there is a conspiracy theory, Puck Daddy calls me on the carpet for it. Geez.

And Shram - I just wrote almost the same thing over at Japer's: if we're out of it, take Poti down!! I want to be able to root for the Caps in the next round without feeling dirty.

Anonymous said...

Avery should have been suspended for on of the many dumbass moves he's made this series. Campbell is a fucking joke.

nyrmike21 said...

If the Caps win, the 'Canes will also win. The NHL won't pass up the opportunity for a Crosby-Ovechkin showdown. Bettman needs to go!

Usually Frustrated Caps Fan said...

Look I'm a Caps fan and I think the suspension is justified. that said, I don't think Brash's intent was to injure. Also as far as comparative stats go for the "enforcers" around the league go, brash plays more minutes and has fairly solid skills. Compared to Orr's Avg TOI/Game, he's a much more solid role player and there is no comparison as to their hockey skills, brashear wins hands down. Finally as far as the fight card match-up I believe they - Orr and Brash are a solid matchup.

Now for the Caps to win games 7 - LETS GO CAPS!!!

Pete said...

Waaaah...Sean Avery made someone bleed! Waaaah...Sean Avery caused all that cancer! Waah, waah, waah. Look, when Sean Avery actually breaks someone's FACE, then you can come talk to me about who's the bigger jerk, and maybe, just maybe Donnie Brasho will come out smelling as floral as a spring day. But, until then, here's a kleenex...don't cry; dry your eyes.

I don't know, Usually Frustrated Caps Fan, Colton Orr turned a summer's worth of speed skating training into a very impressive burst of speed. He also tamed his temper and flair for taking foolish penalties. I think Brash has better hands, but, I think if you only took this year into consideration, Colt comes out as the better hockey player.

Let me also say that I do not advocate the whole idea of a retaliatory dirty hit on the Caps players. That's the kind of shit that got Todd Bertuzzi to break Steve Moore. I don't want to see someone like Alex Semin have to pay for Donald Brashear's idiocy. I'd much rather see a Rangers win.

outlaw239 said...

Let me throw my lousy 2 cents in to the pot. I watched the NAHL, play at the Commack Arena in dark ages of 1970's. There was plenty of head hunting in those days. Nick Fotiu coming back into the arena after being thrown out of the game. Gonig into the visitors bench duriing the game and kicking the shit out of the guy who didn't get the penalty. Have we gone back to Dale Rolf getting his ass kicked on the ice by the Flyers rolled up in a ball and not a Ranger jumping in to help him. Fast Forward... have we lost our minds. Why I ask that the Goon of the modern day era is allowed to get away with knocking out one of our players. Not one Ranger jumped his ass right then and there. Maybe he would have kicked that persons ass. But it would have sent a message. Now after the fact we are here tallking retaliation. Give me a break, it should have been done on Sunday. Who knows maybe that is what we needed. Instead Betts ends up with possibly a career ending injury. No Ranger stepped up to that disgusting goon, and here we sit game 7. We talk about how Bettemen wants a Cindy-Ovi match up. Who gives a shit. As far as Avery is concerned, "LET UP". I have said all along he is used as a mop and rag doll. NO CALLS. When he goes after someone everyone is up in arms.I want to see Drury earn that "C". He hasn't so far. I want to see Gomez bring the puck up and shoot the Fucking thing. He is a tired act to watch. The young guns are doing the best they can. The King needs to step up, hopefully he won't be playing against 10 guys tonight. Do you think we can play a little more defense and not get taken off the puck so much. I will tune in around the 6 minute mark of the 3rd period. To much stress for me to watch the entire game with Sam and Joe...
I want to ask ths question of every one.
If this altercation happened in Canada. Would Brasher been arrested for assault. I seem to remember an incident not to long ago on the ice that someone got arrested..... Hey Scotty let me know....

Schram said...

Hey outlaw239, I believe Paul Mara went right after Donald and got a roughing penatly for trying to defend his team....

Schram said...

Oh by the way, I was watching the Simon hit on Hollweg video and I noticed that the first person to go after Simon was Blair Betts, what a team player.

NYR MVPs this season:
1.) Henrik
2.) Cally
3.) Betts

(Sjostrom could be tied with Betts for having the best penalty killing in the league)