Vancouver Canucks right wing Byron Bitz was suspended for two games today for his hard hit along the boards Wednesday night on Kings wing Kyle Clifford.
Yes, just 24 hours after their latest disciplinary gaffe, the NHL felt as though there wasn’t enough outrage or backlash to suffice. In order to restore balance to the universe and raise the fans’ level of scorn for the league and it’s haphazard method of discipline, the NHL sent Byron Bitz to the ever popular Wheel of Morality.
Wheel of Morality… turn turn turn
Here is the play in question : Bitz was given a 5 minute major and suspended for 2 games.
Let’s compare that to this play, where Shea Weber not only punched Zetterberg in the back of the head with a sucker punch, but grabbed his head and slammed it into the glass Hulk Hogan style.
Zetterberg avoided injury, although his visor was cracked from the hit and cheap shot from Weber. The fact that he was not injured was taken into account in the decision not to suspend Weber, said Brendan Shanahan, the league’s chief disciplinarian.
Clifford was wobbly after the Bitz hit, and was escorted off the ice, but was skating and had his wits about him just moments after the hit, whereas Zetterberg laid there crumpled to the ice for several moments.
I’d like to recall another dirty play from the playoffs a year ago, when Bobby Ryan was suspended for 2 games after stomping on the skate of Nashville defenseman Jonathan Blum.
Blum was not injured on this play, no penalty was called.
Let’s see… Weber called for penalty, no injury, no suspension. Bitz called for a major, no injury, 2 game suspension, Ryan not called for penalty, no injury, 2 game suspension.
Want more NHL disciplinary fail? Look here at an article I wrote a year ago following the Rule 48 implementation.
I have a funny feeling I’ll be writing a few more of these kinds of blogs before this postseason is through. Stay tuned.