NHL Suspensions Bewildering

Much has been made over the past week about the suspension following the “game” between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. After a game filled with 346 penalty minutes and10 ejections, just three players were suspended.

The Islanders’ Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin were suspended for nine and four games, respectively, and Penguins’ forward Erik Godard was suspended for 10 games. The Islanders were also fined $100,000 as a team.

Martin sucker punched the Penguins’ Maxime Talbot early in the game in a classless move that was just the beginning. The punch and ensuing “fight” (Martin just pounded the shocked Talbot as he lay helpless on the ice) epitomized the game. How exactly does Martin only receive a four game suspension?!

This wasn’t just a tiny mistake. It was purposeful and premeditated and has no business in the sport. It should have been a minimum 20 game suspension and I would have liked to have seen Martin sitting out the rest of the year.

Gillies’s cheap shot was similar, but worse. In the 3rd period, Gillies ran after Eric Tangradi, struck him in the head with an elbow and continued mauling the forward as he lay on the ice. As Gillies skated away, he mocked the concussed Penguin. It was truly disgraceful.

But Gillies only received nine games!! He shouldn’t be playing hockey again this year whatsoever, but the NHL brass just can’t get anything right. Continue reading “NHL Suspensions Bewildering”

The Problem with Playoffs

As I watch the NBA and NHL seasons winding down, I have been thinking about how many teams have stopped caring about winning, and instead are just trying to avoid injuries. So many teams in both leagues clinch a playoff berth or home field advantage and immediately rest their players. Now, if you’re a team ranked around 4-6 in each conference, I can understand resting players. Those teams have no shot at winning the league and thus have nothing really to play for, but for teams ranked above them that do have a chance to have the best record in their sport, why are you resting players?

The most underrated part of American Sports is the idea of how much more important the playoffs are than the regular season. Why is a team that does well during a 3-week stretch deemed the champion over a team that does well during a 5-month stretch? Why does a team that gets a couple lucky bounces in 15 games in the playoffs “better” than a team that is the best over the course of an entire season? The champion of soccer leagues throughout the rest of the world is considered to be the team who accumulates the most points (best record) throughout the entire season.

Now, like the metric system, doesn’t that make a lot more sense? Continue reading “The Problem with Playoffs”