Apr 12, 2012, 7:44 PM EST
NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has issued his first playoff suspension, handing Vancouver’s Byron Bitz a two-game ban for boarding Kings forward Kyle Clifford on Wednesday.
Here’s the video explanation:
Bitz was given a five minute boarding major on the play and a game misconduct. Clifford left the contest, didn’t return and today the Kings announced he’d miss Game 2 with an upper-body injury.
The suspension length is notable given what Shanahan’s predecessor, Colin Campbell, handed out in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Campbell issued three suspensions — Jarret Stoll got one game for boarding Ian White, Bobby Ryan got two games for stomping Jonathan Blum and Jarkko Ruutu got a game for a late hit on Martin Erat.
It’s also a noteworthy length given what Shanahan said back in March:
“I can attest to this as a player, if you ask me if I’d rather have a four-game suspension in November than a one-game suspension in the playoffs, I’d take the four-game suspension in November.
“If you think about it, that one game in the finals is the equivalent of a 12-game suspension. … I don’t feel we’re in the punishment business, we’re in the changing player behavior business. You do that by getting a player’s attention.”
By that math, Byron Bitz just got an eight-game suspension.
- Trade: Capitals land Glencross, Flames get two picks 8
- Flames place Giordano on IR 5
- Flyers keep faint playoff hopes alive with win over Rangers 26
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder 62
- Jagr earns high praise in his Panthers debut 1
- Bruins maintain four-point edge in playoff race, hand Coyotes ninth straight loss 5
- NHL on NBC: Rangers look for a fourth straight win against the Flyers 7
- Ducks score four third-period goals, come back to beat rival Kings 9
- Blackhawks aren’t done talking trades, will look to add another forward 13
- Flyers trade Kimmo Timonen to Blackhawks 41
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (118)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs (66)
- Lindros files $3M defamation lawsuit against ex-referee Stewart (Updated: Now $250K) (65)