Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It all tracks back to antagonist one...

In the medical profession, when a sudden spurt of virus breaks out, medical professionals track back the spider webs of infection, eager to find out where the trouble all began.

In the case of the NHL, the events of Friday, Saturday and Sunday while not of the legendary days of the 70's or previous decades before it, still made for a rather violent weekend, one not quite seen in such a short paced and tight cluster in a while.

If Brendan Shanahan were working at the Centre for Disease control, he would have to look no further than game one of the Nashville / Detroit series, the end of the game as a matter of fact, when Shea Weber crashed Henrik Zetterberg's head into the glass.

(Some may argue it was when Daniel Sedin was concussed by Duncan Keith in the regular season, or when the NHL stood on the side of the Penguins in an earlier incident with the Flyers, those however are more of an issue of an ongoing malady, as opposed to the sudden flare of sanctioned idiocy that took place over the weekend)

With but a paltry fine of $2,500 dollars, (had only he gone with his first instinct) Shanahan, sent the message that the NHL would not be taking care of the skill players in 2012's playoff run, so, unleash the mayhem. When in effect you tell the players to take care of it yourselves, this is what you get, in short "ye reap, what ye shall sew".

And as this most recent wild weekend of the NHL provided, the mayhem was like a rather fast spreading virus, infecting almost every community where an NHL game was held.

The 48 hours or so of ugliness could have possibly been avoided simply by sending a message through Mr. Weber's gloved hand, that the stupid stuff will not and can not be tolerated, but that message never was heard, instead, as we have seen the law of the hockey jungle took over and with it just a bit more of a game's reputation.

To recap some of the insanity of the weekend here's the roll call of the miscreants, as lengthy a roll call as we've seen in any number of years.

Carkner takes one game ban for team
Hagelin suspended 3 games, Carkner 1
Sens win battle on Broadway
Penguins face penalties from NHL after Game 3 loss to Flyers
Flyers fight to 3-0 series lead over Penguins
Playoff hockey: It's when two of the world's best players drop the gloves
Flyers take 3-0 stranglehold as Penguins collapse amid chaos
Pittsburgh Penguins lose wild Game 3 to Philadelphia Flyers
Andrew Shaw gets game misconduct for hit on Mike Smith
Images of hit on Smith OT goal will give Phoenix Coyotes plenty of fuel for series
Referees in Wings-Predators game find way to miss some big calls
Referees whistle while they work Game 1
Nashville Predators' Shea Weber delivers big hit
Red Wings win, Bertuzzi delivers frontier justice
Wings' Bertuzzi handles Weber after NHL didn't
Red Wings deliver message to Nashville Predators
Gutless NHL should have suspended Predators' Shea Weber
A cheap fine for Shea Weber's cheap shot
Gutless, but not surprising Predator's Shea Weber escapes suspension

The actual official punishment reports, are, ahem, a little less voluminous

Pens' Adams suspended one game, Bylsma fined
NHL fines Sens' Konopka, club for pre-game conduct
Penguins face hearings for Game 3 actions
Carkner, Dubinsky ejected from Game 2
Rangers Hagelin, Sens' Carkner, Blackhawks Shake face hearings

The mayhem was dutifully recorded, much of it with a shake of the head at the state of a game that when played within the rules is one of the best attractions in sport.

However, when as the weekend provided for, the inmates take over the asylum for a bit, the anarchy tends to put the game on the edge of a place many may not want to go.

Some of those on that side of the ledger can be found below.

Detroit News-- Inconsistent rulings by league fuel mayhem in NHL
Globe and Mail-- How the playoffs turned ugly
Globe and Mail-- Shanahan cites Zetterbergs health, Webers history...
Globe and Mail-- Time to look beyond puck heads for Shanahan replacement
Globe and Mail-- Bad Blood spatters all over the Stanley Cup playoffs
Globe and Mail-- The night of the head shot in NHL
Toronto Star-- NHL playoffs veer wildly out of control
Toronto Star-- Don Cherry defends Sidney Crosby in Penguins-Flyers 'war'
Toronto Sun-- Playoffs expose ugly side of hockey
Toronto Sun-- Punishments don't fit the crimes
Toronto Sun-- Playoffs mean never having to say you're sorry
Toronto Sun-- NHL to discipline over three Saturday incidents
Chicago Tribune-- NHL needs to back up talk about player safety with proper discipline
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Don't bother showing for Game 4
National Post-- Neurosurgeon warns Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson against early return
National Post-- NHL reaps rewards as bodies hit the floor
Sportsnet-- Customer is always right
Sportsnet-- Engaging the Reptile brain

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