At some point in Saturday’s game, Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators decided Buffalo Sabres defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo was breathing too well and gave him a two handed cross check to the wind pipe, slowing him down considerably. Arvidsson got a 5 minute major, an automatic 10 minute misconduct and an automatic game misconduct for his efforts, which was a great call on the ice by the official.
This penalty comes on the same day that earlier the NHL suspended Columbus’s Brandon Dubinsky one game for a cross check to the head of Sidney Crosby. In that case, the on ice call was a two minute minor allowing Dubinsky to finish the game. Both of those decisions are surprising considering the NHL’s ongoing crusade against head shots. With the precedent of a low suspension set on a comparable play, it would be a tough sell for the NHL to come down any harder on Arvidsson a day later, assuming they even look at it. I wonder if Arvidsson may have been more careful had the NHL been more aggressive on its suspension ruling against Dubinsky.
Verdict: This afternoon the League shot itself in the foot with its ruling and this evening they’ve already paid for it.