Suspensions in the playoffs (and sharks game 6)

Brashear gets six games in the playoffs — well deserved, and well done NHL. The only way you stop this kind of crap is to kick them where it hurts. And Brashear needed a 2×4. Given Betts has a broken orbital bone and is out for a while, I’m glad the league came down hard here.

The Tortorella suspension? Unfortunate, but earned. Same penalty Tie Domi got for watering a fan and turning a small altercation into a bigger one. You simply DON’T DO THAT. And while I have some sympathy for Sather wanting sanctions on the Caps (they’re deserved, from what I can tell), it doesn’t argue away the issue of YOU DON’T DO THAT.  The Tortorella suspension should be ground zero for the debate on how the NHL handles things, mostly because the fans are always complaining that the league is too soft (except when it impacts their team, or “the game”). The league did right here.

As far as the Sharks? I finally saw the kind of game I felt this team was capable of; not perfect, but Joe Thornton finally stepped it up and played a “Joe thornton playoff game”. Will that game appear in game 6 tonight? If it does, the Ducks are done. Am I convinced? Far from it, but at least I’m looking forward to this game with some anticipation instead of resignation. There’s hope in Sharks land again, at least for me, that Thornton has finally figured out what it takes to win in the playoffs. I give the team a 25% to force a game 7, well up from “not gonna happen”. And if Game 7 happens, I expect the Ducks to go down. I don’t, however, expect the Ducks to go quietly. This’ll be a game to watch. Especially Joe.

There are some writers out here putting the blame on Nabokov for soft goals. Fortunately, these are writers who ignore hockey except when it’s playoff time, so it’s easy to realize they don’t have a clue and ignore them, hence I’m not linking to them (Hi, Mark. Hey, Ray, go cover the Warriors in the playoffs instead like you prefer. Oh, wait..). While I don’t completely exonerate Nabby, both of the goals in game 5 were started by defensive and coverage problems that had a lot more to do with the goals happening than Nabby did. When one of your players runs into a linesman and falls down and turns over the puck at the blueline, bad things usually happen… But you actually have to watch hockey to know that, it’s much easier for a columnist to blame the goalie….

Game on!