It's been quiet -- almost too quiet -- on the Brendan Shanahan discipline front lately. Of course that's a good thing, everybody would prefer if Shanahan didn't have to do a thing at all in his job.
But it's time to wake the man up, he has some footage to review.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were visiting the Rangers on Thursday night, a game the Rangers won in overtime. It was early in the third period that Bolts forward Dominic Moore was given a two-minute roughing penalty. Doesn't sound like your run-of-the-mill penalty to sound the Shanahan alarm, but it wasn't exactly a roughing penalty. More like a hit to the head.
A blindside hit away from the puck where the principal point of contact sure looks to me like it was Ruslan Fedotenko's head? That's a recipe for a hearing at the least.
Moore told the Tampa Bay Times that he was "competing for body position" while "trying to make myself available for a shot. I guess [Fedotenko] wasn't ready for that."
Player agent Allen Walsh weighed in as he often does and called it a "textbook blindside hit." Not sure I'd put that one in the textbook, but OK.
The Rangers, meanwhile, we're just a tad upset (from Rangers Rants).
“There’s no puck there,” Brandon Prust said. “It looked like he was looking for him. There’s no puck and he got head contact. We’ll let the league decide on the rest.”
Brian Boyle was a little more emphatic about his view on the legality of the hit.
“Yeah, we’re still pretty angry about that. It’s a very dirty, dirty play. We’ve talked about it enough. We’ve got to get away from that stuff.”
Every time I have talked to players about these hits and Shanahan's job so far, I always get close to the same response: We have to respect each other out there. That's at the crux of what Boyle is saying and was made even clearer from Brad Richards.
“I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re trying not to do to each other,” Richards said. “If we want to keep doing it to each other, we’re going to have a problem. It’s idiotic.”
There is no word yet on Fedotenko's status after the hit but he didn't return in the game. Right or wrong (and I say wrong) that could carry an impact in any punishment for Moore. To be fair, Shanahan recently explained that he doesn't use that in helping to determine the verdict, just the sentencing.
When looking at Moore, he doesn't have a reputation that precedes him; he's not a bad apple. This strikes you as being out of character. And possibly even accidental. But I'm not a believer in punishing the intent; you have to punish the action.
But while Shanny has that game fired up, he might want to take a look at Victor Hedman's supposed slew foot on Prust too, another play that had the Rangers a little fired up after the game.
“I just wanted to get the puck and, all of a sudden, my legs went out from underneath me,” Prust said. “I don’t know what he did but it was pretty dangerous. I didn’t see the replay. I was in a grumpy mood today anyway, I just needed an excuse.”
Back to work, Shanny.
H/t to Kukla's Korner for the video