The last impression most, if not all hockey fans will have of the Nashville Predators 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in game one of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, will be that of Shea Weber viciously slamming the head of Henrik Zetterberg into the glass as time expired.
It was the type of incident that warranted a league review and subsequent punishment. But, somehow inexplicably, Weber escaped a serious punishment. The $2,500 fine that was levied upon the Predators star defenseman is not even worth mentioning because it’s insulting. It’s insulting to fellow NHL players and to the fans that love the game.
I personally am beside myself with disgust. All season the NHL and it’s disciplinary czar, Brendan Shanahan have preached about taking unnecessary and dangerous hits to the head out of the game.
Is that not exactly what transpired between Weber and Zetterberg? I mean Weber literally grabbed his opponent by the neck and drover his head and face into the glass! The league suggested because the Detroit forward was not injured that it didn’t warrant a stiffer penalty. Are you serious?
Not more than a couple of hours later, Vancouver Canucks forward Byron Bitz drilled Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford with a big hit along the boards. Bitz’ elbow caught Clifford in the head, injuring him, in fact he didn’t return to the game. The result? A two-game ban for Bitz.
I can argue that Bitz didn’t intend to injure Clifford with the hit. Bitz is 6′ 5″ to Clifford’s 6′ 2″. Who is to say the speed of the game and the height difference didn’t contribute to the ferocity of the blow?
I don’t have to argue a case for Weber because it was a blatant intent to hurt his opponent. I’m sick and tired of “star” players getting away with this kind of garbage. It’s ruining the reputation of this great sport.
If the NHL doesn’t want to handle it properly, I implore the Predators to take matters into their own hands. Sit Weber down for a game or two. Is this how Nashville wants to represent themselves? I doubt it.
Do the right thing Preds, sit the gutless thug down.
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