NHL justice is different than it used to be. It used to be that if you pitchforked a guy, you were going to have to fight someone. Then somewhere along the line, we switched to employing pure thugs that fought each other for some reason, like that was righting wrongs. But, their roster spots have been largely shuttled out for more legitimate hockey players these days. And now, from what I can tell, the new method is that when one of your players gets hit in a borderline way, you get yourself on camera, and complain about how unfairly your team is treated.

It’s getting tiresome.

Yesterday’s brief fit by John Tortorella was just the latest in a long line of “The League” bombs dropped by a coach talking to a group of reporters. “It’ll be interesting to see what The League has to say about this.” “We’ll let The League handle it.” “I’m sure The League will be taking a look at it.”

Hint hint not so subtle hint, guys.

Of course, they don’t intend it to be subtle.

This is how coaches go about highlighting incidents that are likely not worthy of suspensions (suspendable plays are usually self-evident), but are still worthy of our sympathy…apparently. Every team in the League is really hard-done-by, you guys. “Sure, everybody’s allowed to take cheap shots on our guys, but if we do anything, we get suspended.”

I’m pretty sure Shanahan’s not playing any favourites.

It reminds me of children telling their parents “He started it,” like some how that would validate one brother hitting another in the head with a shovel. It’s trying to build up points for the next time your team is in hot water. “Yes, he took his skate off and tried to cut the guy, but remember when Orpik hit Stepan and got NOTHING? I’d say we’re all square.”

A lot of these coaches doing the complaining are tough men – in the Atlantic division, there’s about four coaches I wouldn’t want to tangle with (that’s right, I’d scrap DeBoer), and all four of those men have had a little media cry about a number of incidents this year. The bitching isn’t confined to the Atlantic, but I think they’re in the lead in TPMS, Tears Per Media Scrum.

I understand that with playoffs on the horizon that it made sense for Tortorella to petition the League to get Orpik suspended. He doesn’t want to see the Penguins down the road. But is it worth it if you have to be the guy implying others teams get all the privileges (“I wonder what would happen if we did that to one of their whiny stars”)?

As I mentioned in the title, it reminds of a crowd booing a no-call when one of their players goes down. Maybe, mayyybe a couple times a season you can trigger a ref to put the whistle to his lips (or in this case, the phone to Shanahan’s ear), but it’s just not worth representing yourself and your team like that.

I get being mad, and I like to hear guys speak out about it. But the constant appeals to the League for help after games has to go.