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Nicklas Backstrom’s late cross-check could bring suspension

Apr 16, 2012, 10:56 PM EDT

The Boston Bruins’ increasingly tense and remarkably tight 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals got awfully chippy as the game went along. One of the surprising parties involved in the violence was Capitals star Nicklas Backstrom, who might just be in line for a suspension for this:

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Mike Vogel has the details:

“In addition to match penalty, player shall be automatically suspended from further competition until Commissioner has ruled on the issue.”

There are a few interesting things to consider. The NHL likely has the right to rescind the penalty, thus stripping the automatic suspension from the situation. Of course, the league had a similar (in some ways) opportunity in regard to Craig Adams, who received a one-game suspension.

Will Adams’ suspension serve as a precedent-setter? Could Backstrom’s star status get him out of it? More importantly, do you think Backstrom deserves to get off the hook?

The Swedish center already has an overtime game-winner in this series, so this could be another big loss for Washington after they fell in Game 3.

More on the incident

Dale Hunter doesn’t think it is suspension-worthy.

Rich Peverley tells his side of the story.

  1. hairpie - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    How about Alzner for jumping Lucic from behind while he was engaged with another player? Its probably more embarrassing to look that much of a coward, but its not much different from what Adams did the other day.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      Dubinsky got thrown out of the game for similar behavior.

    • jasol20 - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      I agree, it’s cowardly for sure. I can’t understand how Lucic gets the extra 2 on it either. There was one good punch from each before they even got a little separation from the linesman. Alzner’s crybaby gesture could have a couple effects…could cause Lucic to take some undisciplined penalties or just create a world of pain for Alzner. Or both.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM

      I am going to show my 6 year old cousin (girl) which play looks worse.

      Backstroms cross check that ended up going high and kind of connecting with Peverley


      Weber’s punch and then slamming Z’s head into the glass…. which ones worse…

      Then I would like to ask Shananhan the exact same question and would like to hear him compare them and the possibilites of Backstrom getting suspended, I don’t want to hear that it’s because it was when the game was over either

      -Wild fan

      • meane56 - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:55 AM

        I would love to hear the response. As I think the 6 year old may say that Backstrom used a weapon to hit another player in the face. Do I think that Weber should have been suspended a game, yes I do, but let’s not confuse the situation. Just because Shanaban might have erred on one ruling doesn’t mean he has to overturn a call made by an official that warrants at least a one game suspension.

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        I don’t know why a 6 year old is a person you consult for advice, but I guess that’s why you live in Minn

    • ithacamike - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      So I assume you equally miffed at Chara for doing the exact same thing to Alzner that Alzner did to Lucic, albeit about 5 seconds later in the scrum. Yeah, didn’t think so…Chara’s a great player, but according to your definition, a coward.

      • mjdkid100 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        Let’s dissect your strange logic.

        Lucic and another player in a scrum…

        Alzner jumps in…

        Chara comes in to grab Alzner…

        You believe this is the same thing? Wow.

      • hairpie - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Actually, what Chara did was the OPPOSITE. He jumped in to grab the coward off Lucic’s back. What color is the grass in your world where that is the same thing?

      • ithacamike - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        Go watch the replay of the scrum again (or maybe for the first time?)…Chara grabs Alzner around the head just like Alzner grabbed Lucic around the head.

        When Chara jumps in it’s only Lucic and Alzner. You’ll have to enlighten me on how that’s different?

  2. spokedjackets - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    He wont be suspended, yet everyone will still claim that Bruins get all the breaks.

    • hairpie - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      No one can honestly say that. Sure it seems the NHL fans are whining like NFL fans more and more, but to be objective, no one can really say that. Seriously though, there has to be some kind of punishment for that. Its dangerous and cowardly.

  3. dcfan4life - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    I really cant say. The NHL has no idea what to suspend for and how much. Half the suspensions this year or lack there of has made no sense. Could go either way but i will bet no suspension due to star power.

  4. xhankmoodyx - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Bruins have been going for his head the whole series and nobody has said a thing.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      Which game were you watching?

      • davidpcoelho - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        The punch from Tim Thomas with the glove hand and then slamming him to the ground for one?

    • sabatimus - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      That’s because….no one’s being going for his head.

  5. drewsylvania - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Whatever discipline Backstrom gets, it’d have been more if Peverly had fallen down like he’d been shot.

    Shanny’s turning the league into 600 Mike Ribiero’s.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      very well said !!!

      “Whatever discipline Backstrom gets, it’d have been more if Peverly had fallen down like he’d been shot.”

  6. dawglb - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Trust me, I hate the Craps. That cross check was not a suspendible offense. Cheap? Yes. Girlish? Absolutely! But worthy of suspension? Nope.

  7. slapshot23 - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    a suspension,thats nuts,he barely even touched the guy,the suspension should go to the bruins player for taking a dive. Lucic has been throwing cheap shots the whole series so nobody should be calling the caps players cowards

    • fubar77 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      @Slapshot23….did you watch the same game and the actual penalty that is being discussed? Peverly (who got hit by Backstrom) didn’t fall to the ice. His head snapped back, but he stood his ground. Get a clue asshat! Now I like Backstrom and I understand his reasoning for going after Pev, but he should have hit him lower, a tough shove and been done with it. He messed up and he knows better. That is the sad thing. He will likely get one game and that sucks for The Caps, but is good for The Bruins!

  8. 8spokedb - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Backstrom will def get a game for that late cheap shot. I hope Alzner doesnt get suspended just to see Lucic take matters in his own hands like a true Bruin. They police themselves with guys like thornton, lucic, and Mcquaid better than any other team in the league.

    • ithacamike - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Why in gawd’s name would Alzner be suspended? Have you ever watched hockey before? It was a scrum…in fact, Chara did the exact same thing to Alzner when he and Lucic were “engaged”. It was about 5 seconds after Alzner grabbed Lucic. Did your Bruin blinders prevent you from seeing that?

      As for Backstrom, it was obviously retaliatory for Peverly trying to break Ovie’s ankle. The video isn’t super clear, but it looks like he was gonna cross-check him in the upper chest and Peverly got his stick up too. A match penalty there was a horrible call. Almost as horrible as rewarding Marchand’s dive on Backstrom’s love tap!

      • 8spokedb - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Exactly it was a scrum, I was just responding to a few posts earlier that were wondering if Alzner might get suspended. Its not even worth talking about, it was a joke. Hes obviously not getting suspended…Peverley trying to break Ovie’s ankle? C’mon are you serious? Yeah he tripped Ovechkin and Backstrom came over to protect his teammate. Instead of being a man and dropping his gloves or even giving him a face wash, he had to crosscheck him in the face because he’s a fake tough guy that doesn’t know how to handle himself.

      • 8spokedb - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        Exactly it was a scrum, I was just responding to a few posts earlier that were wondering if Alzner might get suspended. That would be a joke If he did… A bigger joke is that one might think Peverley was trying to break Ovie’s ankle. Backstrom crosschecked Peverley directly in the face. If he had any balls he would of just dropped his gloves or even a face wash would suffice… There were Three players ganging up on Lucic and Chara came over like any good teammate would do an was just pulling bodies off the pile… And if you watched hockey you would know that a match penalty comes with an automatic suspension until league officials review the play.

      • bbgustaf - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        For those of you with bliders on, look at the video at 0:23. Clearly shows Ovechkin nailing Peverley in the groin. What was Perverley supposed to do, thank him! Backstrom didn’t like it so he used his stick not fighting like a man!

  9. cspsrbums - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Lucic is a clown Does’t belong in the game. He went to start a fight to get it 4 on 4 to open up the ice. He been starting crap all series before and after the whistle any hasn’t gotten into trouble for it yet.the Refs for these playoffs have been horrible all of the games very inconsistent

    • 8spokedb - Apr 17, 2012 at 6:15 AM

      Yeah doesn’t belong in the game, but he was voted by his piers in a league wide poll in The Hockey News that he was the toughest player in the league and one of the top power forwards in the game today.

    • jamesinboston2012 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      A clown..funny, He planned that??? Did you actually watch the game..2 Caps where moved because they where starting it with him..he finished it. If anything it was the Caps looking for the 4 on 4 numbnuts. You really should know what you are talking about before typing.

    • mcmurphy22 - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      Refs inconsistency aside. What are you talking about? It sounds like Yur saying Looch is being mean and bullying your team around. You realize this is hockey right? No place in the game for a top forward on a Stanley cup team who had 30 goals a season ago? This guys is not an agitator like Kaleta, he can and does play, that’s exactly the type of player that belongs in the NHL. Don’t like it? Watch the Swedish league.

  10. xhankmoodyx - Apr 16, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    The Bruins are such saints, they show so much class.

    • fubar77 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Oh whatever! Yeah The Bruins are the only team in the league with goons. Sure they are! Grow up! Every team has them. Problem here is our “goon” is a 20 goal scorer! I hate Lucic’s antics as a Bruin’s fan, but I also appreciate his heart and work ethic. Have to take the good with the bad!

  11. bigbadbruins1968 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Backstrom won’t get suspended, because:

    1. Shanahan is inconsistent.

    2. Backstrom is a “star” player.

    3. A one game suspension in the playoffs is worth four games in the regular season (Shanahan’s words).

    4. Backstrom doesn’t play for Boston.

    5. Backstrom didn’t cross-check a Vancouver Canuck.

    6. Elaine Vigneault isn’t whining about how Backstrom should be suspended.

  12. davidpcoelho - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Would be funny to see Backstrom suspended for this and no suspension given for jackhammering a players head into the boards…

  13. ntestarossa - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Wasn’t this at the end of the game? or a period? I remember saying it was a real late check at Pev by Ovechkin.
    Should Backstrom have checked Peverly? Yes, he tripped Ovi(after Ovi came in real hard) but he should have hit him in the chest.
    Should he be penalized for a childish play? Yes

    There is no room in hockey for theses kinds of hits, the worse is when they act like they did nothing wrong. Im a Bruins fan, but I understand when we do dirty things as well. It should punished equally and not star based.

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