Tuesday, May 5, 2015

For Shanahan, another head-scratching decision

Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s dean of discipline, should be featured on Saturday Night Live.

For Shanahan, another head-scratching decision

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Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s dean of discipline, should be featured on Saturday Night Live.

His videos are a laugh riot.

Shanahan on Tuesday night suspended Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham for four games and teammate James Neal for one game because of incidents in the Penguins’ 8-4 loss to the Flyers on Sunday.

On the same shift, Neal took runs at Sean Couturier and then Claude Giroux.

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In his video, Shanahan explained that Neal, a 40-goal scorer in the regular season whose presence will be missed, was suspended for charging at Giroux and “once again launching prior to making contact.”

Fair enough.

But his failure to penalize Neal for leaving his feet for a dirty hit on Couturier was laughable.

Shanahan said the NHL was “willing to accept Neal’s assertion” that he jumped at Couturier “to brace himself for an unintended collision.”

Shanahan’s decision is supposed to be based on WHAT HAPPENED, not on what the player DIDN’T INTEND TO HAPPEN. It should also be noted that Neal was fined once this season and received two warnings for incidents _ and that he was suspended three years ago for a check from behind.

From here, the run at Couturier was much worse than the one at Giroux.

From here, if Shanahan used a dart board, his decisions would make as much sense.

His most grievous post-season error was not suspending Nashville’s Shea Weber for slamming the head of Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg’s into the glass.

He slapped the all-star defenseman on the wrist with a $2,500 fine.

The decision on Neal just re-affirmed this: Shanahan is a master at inconsistent rulings.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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