On Saturday’s game against the Canadiens, James Neal took a penalty at 7:10 in the third period for hi-sticking PK Subban. (I’ll post video later today of the play.) What transpired was they were playing the puck at the boards and Subban slew footed Neal, causing Neal to loose his balance. His stick swung up as he was falling to the ice and hit Subban. He served 2 minutes. Subban whined like a baby and got away with his infraction per usual.
Today, the NHL Department of Player safety fined James Neal $2,500 for what was seemingly an involutary bodily reaction to being slew footed.
Here is a gif file I found:
More after the jump…
The officiating in that game was a complete disaster. The Habs are livid with the suspension of Pacioretty. Check out my game recap. Habs troll real upset because apparently “nice guys” aren’t supposed to get suspended for breaking the rules. The whistle wasn’t even blown until a full six seconds after Kris Letang, who was playing the puck at the time, was already on the ice bleeding.
Neal was punished during the game. Additional discipline for this is uncalled for. Way to play into the hands of the worst fan base in sports. If the NHL had not punished Neal, the Habs fans probably would have called the police.
Garage league. Grow a spine, NHL. No logical explanation for why this fine was applied. By this standard, shouldn’t Mikhail Grabovski have been fined for almost taking out Chris Pronger’s eye in October? He served a 2 minute penatly for hi-sticking on the play. In fact, in that same game, Joffrey Lupul served a double minor 4 minute for hi-sticking. Why no fine?
Habs fans, seriously. Cry me a river, build a bridge, and jump off it.
**UPDATE** Dave Molinari with the PG posted a brief interview on the situation with Dan Bylsma and James Neal. Bylsma is all class per usual but in defense of the decision. I still think it’s ridiculous that Subban walks away scott free as usual. He consistently plays with zero regard for player safety.
Quote from James Neal:
“He kicks my feed out from under me, (from) behind me,” Neal said.
“I’m trying to draw a penalty and I accidentally hit him in the head.”