There is a very solid article over at Broad Street Hockey explaining the circumstances about the hit to the head received by Dainius Zubrus and delivered by Philadelphia star forward Claude Giroux. The comments... are not so solid. While it's predictable a fan-base would support their star player, I think the outlook is a bit too rosey and wanted to present my counter-argument (respectfully), but forgot there is a 24 hour wait period to post to different teams' sites.
Follow the jump for my three point observation explaining why I think Claude sits out Game 5.
"Watch the Wheel of Justice turn! Find out what lesson you should learn!"
If you haven't already heard, there is a wonderful mock website called, appropriate to this year's NHL playoffs, the Wheel of Justice. This started with the Shea Webber attack on Henrik Zetterberg which went unpunished, and opened the floodgates to a plethora of suspendable activities in the early games of nearly every series of Round 1.
The point of the wheel is this: after Brendan Shanahan gave Webber a $2,500 pass on that vicious blow to the head, there was no longer a direct correlation between the action and the penalty. Anyone in a leadership role can tell you that rewards and punishments must be SMART
Shanahan's punishments have violated, in most cases this postseason, at least one of these bullets. Webber's fine, if translated via percentage of salary, is equal to a $15 parking ticket for a citizen making just under $100,000 in salary. Neal received no suspension because he claimed no ill-intent, Torres received 25 games because Shanahan was trying to correct the message players had already received: that it was open season on agressive hits.
I fully expect Claude Giroux is going to receive punishment beyond his 2min penalty.
To clarify: I don't think Giroux is a dirty player. I don't think he was trying to knock Zubrus out of the game, just onto his backside. Had Zubrus been standing still or skating upright, it would have been a solid hit and achieved just that. Since Zubes was following through on his own dumpin, however, that put his head in play and Shanahan has to give Giroux a game to be consistent on the message that "non incidental blows to the head will not be tolerated."
Giroux met on the phone with Shanahan this morning, and there should be a ruling by this afternoon. Best resources should be either Shanahan's or Tom Gulitti's twitter feed, until then feel free to sound off below.
Let's go Devils!
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