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Capitals disagree with, don’t understand Backstrom suspension

Apr 18, 2012, 2:04 PM EDT


The Washington Capitals have issued the following statement on their team website:

We disagree with the NHL’s decision to suspend Nicklas Backstrom.

This has been a competitive and physical series, and we do not understand why a suspension was imposed in this case while other incidents in this series have not been reviewed.

Our singular focus now is on Game 4, and we look forward to the energy that our great fans provide.

As reported earlier, Backstrom was suspended one game for cross-checking Boston’s Rich Peverley in the face. He’ll sit out Thursday’s contest as a result, something the Capitals are clearly not happy with.

The Caps’ statement comes just three days after the Rangers posted a similar critique on their site regarding the Carl Hagelin suspension, saying they were “perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency.”

Washington players were also critical of the Backstrom suspension, according to the Washington Times:

“Sometimes you think it’s right decision, sometimes it’s not, sometimes you want to laugh,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “So right now I think it’s kind of bad decision. But there is nothing you can do.”

Defenseman Karl Alzner believed Backstrom cross-checked Boston Bruins forward Rich Peverley to the face by accident but still was not surprised by the suspension.

“Not really. See for yourself, it doesn’t look good,” Alzner said. “I haven’t heard any of the reasoning why it’s a game, why it’s not more games, why it’s [not] no games. I haven’t heard any of the explanation. That’s kind of what we were expecting: match penalty.”

And finally, some feedback from the Twittersphere:

Damien Cox, Toronto Star: “Rangers, Caps both ripping Shahahan decisions in media releases. Never happened with [Colin] Campbell. Sheriff has tiny support base, it seems.”

Joe Haggerty, “Words from Caps’ statement would probably have more clout if it actually came out of George McPhee’s mouth rather than in faceless statement.”

Jamie Baker, CSN Bay Area: “So now I’m really confused b/c the Capitals said they are confused but I thought everyone in hockey was already confused. #SoConfusing”

  1. kotteintheslot - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    “So now I’m really confused b/c the Capitals said they are confused but I thought everyone in hockey was already confused.” Don’t worry so is everyone else.

    • davidpcoelho - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Problem is the refs are “letting the players play” so of course this leads to the teams enforcing themselves which leads to this.

      Refs cannot let the teams just play it out. NHL has few penalties but they all need to be called for a reason…

    • scottybcboy - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      How is it confusing? Cross-check a guy in the face when the game is over….get a one game suspension. Seems really clear to me.

  2. hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    They better be careful what they wish for… the Caps have been dirty and cowardly all series. 3 separate vicious crosschecks to the face, Alzner jumping Lucic from behind, Backstrom hacking at Thomas’s glove etc etc etc…..

  3. madtolive5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Match penalty = suspension

    What are they confused about???

    • rfoster75 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      The match penalty…and why is backstrom doing the cross checking, that’s what they should be confused about. Somebody else should have knocked his block off.
      Your gonna throw a match penalty on some little dust up like that???seems silly no??? Thomas blocker to the face, no call…Braden Holtby blocker to the body–roughing. Lucic crosschecks laich to the ice on a face off–“that’s it your both outta here.” Marchand dives like a european soccer player three times– no call. I’ll bet there confused. I am. Neil and Backstrom got the same punishment–Neil’s antics were far more egregious than Backstom’s–and neither of those two incidents come close to what Weber did? What goes around comes around and the pendulum will swing the other way, Caps have to capitalize…

      • pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        if you watch the play again- Ovi – A) really checks him for NO reason B) comes up between the legs of Peverley, which is why he reacts and trip/slashes him – Backstrom only saw the Peverley and lost his composure- it happens fast, but it happens. Sorry your team is the one crossing the line.

      • homelanddefense - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        @rfoster. I will agree 100% that the punishments have been completely inconsistent. But to sit here and act like the Capitals have done nothing wrong and the Bruins are some street thugs is completely ridiculous.

        Its easy to pick random acts and try to create some conspiracy. For instance…someone a 5’10” player high sticked Chara in the back of the head last game and it wasnt called. I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION! See, looks dumb.

      • rfoster75 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        oh I see…thanks????

        Thanks for chiming in all… homeland defense’s post was brought to you by the letter Q and the number 5

      • homelanddefense - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        so weak

  4. pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    “This has been a competitive and physical series, and we do not understand why a suspension was imposed in this case while other incidents in this series have not been reviewed.”

    in other words: Ovi and Beagle got away with it; we thought it was ok to cross check in the face.

    you want to know why? because if he didn’t suspend him; what’s from stopping any Bruin or Capital from Crosschecking some opposing player in the face at the end of every other game? Maybe the Bruins could send out thornton to do the same with no time left to Backstroms face and … oh well no time left, no penalty. They got lucky Ovi didn’t get anything, and Beagle got 4 minutes. Here is how to avoid penalties of suspensions; don’t do questionable things that could lead to SERIOUS injury (rabbit punch, slash, hook, etc.. all you want) DO NOT wait until the final buzzer goes off or the game is out of hand (PIT) and do stupid things. that’s all.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    See, now here’s the major problem that Shanahan has created. One game here is fair. He got a match penalty so the suspension is automatic, and the fact that it happened at the end of the game guaranteed is would be upheld. But it’s not fair because guys like Weber have gotten away with worse.

    Now every decision will be questioned by the players and their teams. Shanahan will continue to lose credibility until he has none left.

  6. pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Lets see who gets their head “targeted” first? Did Bergeron (long history of concussions) get his head grabbed first or did Backstrom?

    • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      Looks like every one of the Caps in that scrum took a shot at Bergerons head. They are cheaper than i thought!

      • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        The more i watch that, the more incredible it is. Hunter is a complete fraud and moron if he thinks the B’s are targeting anyones head. 5 seconds in, someone grabs Bergerons head and they continue to take shots the entire length of the vid!

    • snwbrd78 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      We must be watching 2 different videos. I see plenty of head grabbing by BOTH teams

      • pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Agreed about head grabbing on both teams – Just saying;our coach is claiming innocence and accusing the caps of targeting of the head. If backstrom doesn’t want to be ‘re-adjusting his helmet” he shouldn’t be grabbing other players by the head; from behind. Hockey is a tough game and a lot of extra stuff goes on; the thing is the Capitals are the only team that are crossing that line of tough to dirty.

      • jasol20 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:49 PM

        You see it from both teams, but you a) see no more “head-grabbing” than you do in any other scrum, and b) don’t see the Caps as the lone honorable victims. Some people don’t like it but to some extent, when it’s not crossing the line, post-whistle play really is part of the game and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. To cite this as Backstrom’s head being targeted is just absurd.

    • rdurk86 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Bergeron went for Alzner, then Backstrom put him in a headlock. Quite a trend of 3rd man in.

  7. stratomaticfan - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Which play does he want reviewed? Ovi’s cross check to Seidenberg’s throat? Chimera’s blatant poke to Marchand’s nuts? What’s so hard to understand? He got a match penalty for intent to injure after the end of the game. Automatic suspension pending review. Review says he was the aggressor and took a dirty shot and his suspension is upheld. Very cut and dry.

  8. 8spokedb - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Caps are finally taking on the personality of their coach, gutless, dirty, and cheap. Its not a coincidence the caps are playing this way and their coach is Dale Hunter. The Matt Cooke/ Raphie Torres of his day.

    • bcjim - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Hunter 0.73 PPG career

      Torres 0.41
      Cooke 0.38


      • 8spokedb - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        I was comparing the fact that they are the premiere cheap shot artists of their day…Dale Hunter was an overall better player but he crossed the line like Torres or Cooke. The game was a lot different when Hunter played, you could get away with a lot more back then. FYI

  9. stangz11 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Speaking as a Caps fan, he deserved the suspension. But of course you have to continue to question the NHL and they’re handing out of discipline and penalties. For example, what the heck is a match penalty and how is it different from a game misconduct? Why didn’t Weber or Asham get a match penalty?

    • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      I believe a match penalty is in the judgement of the ref, did the player diliberately try to injure the other player. it carries an auto misconduct and 1 game suspension. The refs just blew the calls on Weber (so did Shanny) and Asham.

      • reston77 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        To balance out the discussion here a bit, you should take a look at the clips here to see just who has been showing an “intent to injure”:

      • homelanddefense - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        wow reston……nicefair and balanced reporting by the Caps local tv station. Im sure the Bruins station could put together some nice clips of the stuff Washington has done.

        Especially when you edit out the beginning of the clips and only show the retaliation

      • pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        watched it. The guy is a joke. The Bergeron “Match” penalty he wanted was the above video where Alzner then Backstrom initiate the head grabbing. The Lucic laich thing is also a joke. Laich was crossing the line onto lucics side- they were both to blame and Laich is a heck of a player who has far better balance than that, the refs know it. The thomas backstrom thing he came in late with two extra hacks AFTER semin had been cleared out. And the lucic backstrom thing- no he turned around and saw three guys on peverley he went after one. EVERY single scrum players grab heads, Alan may is a joke. He needs to watch the whole thing. what he is doing is basically saying Chicago are head hunting cause they jumped Raffi Torres. This jack off needs to learn how to view things unbiased. Has Backstrom gotten some extra stuff? Yes, yes, yes – has he been the aggressor in just about every instance? yes, yes, yes. the lucic one- no, but in defense it was three guys around Peverley.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        @ reston77- seriously watch the video above- if this is what you Caps fans are seeing, I get why you think the B’s are dirty, but watch the whole thing. what Alan may doesn’t show you is Bergeron getting two separate head locks (alzner & NB) then Bergeron basically reprimanding him – by Carlsson’s reaction you can he’s not being aggresive he’s telling him to stop the crap. Carlsson and Johanson are watching Backstrom get held and yelled at.

      • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        reston, thats hysterical… nice work! LOL

  10. pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    If anything they are targeting Bergeron’s head because they know they can’t score if he is on the ice.

  11. armchaircoaching - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    That’s a gif/video of Thomas punching Backstrom in the head.

    51.3 Match Penalty – If, in the judgment of the Referee, a goalkeeper uses his blocking glove to punch an opponent in the head or face in an attempt to or to deliberately injure an opponent, a match penalty must be assessed.

    I’ll let the video and rulebook speak for themselves.

    • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      Thats hysterical!! So blatantly biased, they start the gif right after Backstrom hacks Timmy’s glove. Does anyone honestly think a goalie would randomly decide to punch a player in the face without reason?? LOL!!!

  12. habsman - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Please don’t confuse Bruin fans with facts.

    It makes it harder to spin the many, many incidents over the past couple of years.

    • back2backbees - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      Dale Hunter is the habsman

  13. back2backbees - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    The habsfool wants Olympic style hockey for his beloved Habitants.
    Its purely out of jealously that he continues in his wanted pussification of the NHL.
    This is a man’s sport. Until the rules change the Bruins should continue to be the team you obviously envy.
    Buy some black and gold you little troll…we will forgive and forget.

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