I am of the opinion that suspensions aren't long enough. I can see how some people think that this kind of thing is normal (except the outcomes) but I disagree and think it crossed a line that needs to be more clearly defined and enforced by the league.
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Personally I am more outraged by Neal.
For all the times people complain about guys fighting right after a big hit, this timeThornton tried to do it the old fashioned way and orpik wouldn't go. Doesn't mean iI agree with the slew foot but that wasn't as disgusting to me.
Here is a Youtube vid with all three incidents...Orpik Erickson looked clean to me as well, the Neal/Thornton incidents...not so much.
Bruins-Pens incidents, Thornton KO's Orpik, Neal-Marchand w/SlowMo 12/7/13 - YouTube
Marchand was vulnerable and didn't expect a knee to the face. Orpik knew he was a marked man and it looked like a case of having a glass jaw. But Thornton will see a heavy suspension because his was done after the play while Neal will get a slap on the wrist because the league is so serious about players safety and head shots.
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Loui Eriksson is out with another concussion (2nd for the year).
Agreed. It's a serious flaw in how things are handled. The outcome is being penalized and not the actual infraction. Per Bob McKenzie Neal is going to have a telephone hearing, meaning 5 games or less. My feeling is it should be 15 games minimum and I would be pushing for 25. Regardless of Marchand's status, Neal deliberately skated into him while in a prone position making principal contact with Marchand's head with his knee. That's not a hockey play. That has nothing to do with the toughness and skill of the game. That's a player making a concerted effort to harm and injure an opposing player. How the league can talk up about wanting to protect its players and eliminating hits to the head yet turn a relative blind eye to this type of action is mind boggling.
Furthermore, the franchise of the offending player should be penalized harshly with fines payable to some sort of retired players health fund.
I mean...that's all under the theory that you actually want to eliminate hits to the head and hold players accountable for their actions. Something the league has been very spotty on.
The "optics" of the play are what was bad? It looked bad because it was bad.