Rangers catain Ryan McDonagh has been unlucky as of late. He had just come off a concussion following a punch from Wayne Simmonds (I refuse to refer to it as a sucker punch, because it was not), and was promptly flattened again off an elbow delivered by Toronto’s Leo Komarov.
Komarov trailed back into the defensive zone and had a horrible angle on McDonagh. Instead of stopping and just getting in McDonagh’s way, Komarov made the bizarre decision to skate right by, and on the way he extended his elbow up to catch a piece of McDonagh. The piece he caught was the head.
By now, even with the inconsistencies of the Department Of Player Safety, there should be no question this was a suspendable elbow. But for how long? The league decided 3 games, and once again I just don’t get their thought process.
We could debate this incident, but the truth is there’s been so many even in this one season that I’ve based an entire blog on the suspension decisions. No matter what we feel about the 3 games here or the 5 games there, the one thing I hope we can all agree on is that none of the punishments to date have been powerful enough to deter copycat plays.
The Department of Player Safety has to make a clear and attention grabbing stand on what constitutes an acceptable hockey play and what doesn’t. They can’t take an isolated high profile incident like the Wideman case and use it as an example. They need to give 7-8 games for anything deemed “predatory”, and they need to do it 5 or 6 times in a row.
Until the Department proves it’s serious about eliminating the problem, no one is going to take them seriously.