I was listening to clips of Max Pacioretty on 98.5 earlier Tuesday night and man did he sound peeved off. He was giving his first public reaction to the National Hockey League’s decision to suspend him for three games and it’s hard not to sympathize with him.
Listen, I’m not contradicting Monday’s blog. Patch deserves the suspension – though it kills me to say that given that he’ll miss a crucial three-game road trip through California that just might decide the Canadiens’ season (and coach Jacques Martin’s fate). It was a dangerous head shot on Kris Letang Saturday night and there’s no place in the League for that kind of hit.
But Pacioretty is quite right to say the players have no idea what’s right and wrong given the nutsy inconsistency of NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s decisions on head shots this season. Milan Lucic can do a pretty good job of taking off Buffalo Sabres’ goalie Ryan Miller’s head and there’s no supsension – ’cause he’s a Boston Bruin I guess. Ryan Malone also nearly decapitates the Habs’ Chris Campoli and again there’s no suspension – ’cause the guy getting his head ripped off is a Hab I guess.
“I’d like to see a little bit of consistency,” Pacioretty said on Tuesday. “If the onus was on the hitter every single time I’d be fine with the suspension, but you’ve seen instances where they’ve placed onus on the person receiving the hit as well and that’s why I’m confused and a lot of other players are confused as well.”