What's worse?

Well the good news from Thursday night is that we don’t have any questionable hits or horrible calls to rant about the morning after. For once in this postseason, we got to bask in the glory and entertainment of some great, exciting playoff hockey, without having to think too much about the other crap that’s plagued the first week of the tournament.

There is one piece of news from Tuesday, however, that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around, and that’s Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville getting hit with a $10,000 fine for his criticism of the officials after Raffi Torres’ ridiculously dirty hit on Marian Hossa on Tuesday night.

It’s not so much the fine itself that bothers me, as even though Quenneville had a right to be furious with the incompetence of the refs on the play in question, it’s a known fact in pro sports that if a coach publicly criticizes officials, he’s due for a monetary punishment.

What bothers me is that the league comes down harder on passionate coaches who lose their cool than they do on players who lose their cool and engage in malicious and violent behaviour. Take a look at this list of NHL fines and suspensions from this season. It will leave you shaking your head.

Things like boarding, cross-checking, slew-footing and leaving the bench to partake in a fight result in $2,500 fines for players making millions. Criticizing officials results in fines of $10,000, $20,000 and even $30,000 for coaches.

You see according to the NHL, complaining about their precious officials is four times worse than willingly driving another player’s head into the boards in an attempt to reenact your boyhood wrestling dreams.

At least they’re consistently inconsistent.

Now here are some morning links:

  • Senators owner Eugene Melnyk fears for players’ lives (Sudbury Star). Melnyk wants the NHL to get tougher when it comes to disciplining players for dangerous and violent plays. He also has a chess-like idea for trying to punish teams of the guilty parties.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov will be in net for the Flyers tonight, despite being shelled in Game 4 and suffering a reported hip injury (Sporting News). Anyone else find it odd that General Manager Paul Holmgren made this announcement before his head coach could?
  • Flyers may have lineup changes for Game 5 (My Fox Philadelphia). Losing by seven usually makes you rethink things.
  • Alexander Radulov is in the NHL for the long haul (RIA Novosti). Former NHL defenceman Darius Kasparaitis says it’s for at least “three to four years.”
  • Jordin Tootoo shows his frustration over being benched (The Tennessean).
  • Critical errors haunt the Red Wings heading into an elimination game tonight (Detroit Sports 360).
  • Martin Brodeur is still chasing records like he chases Stanley Cups (Sporting News). If you haven’t heard yet, Brodeur set yet another NHL record on Thursday night with his 24th career playoff shutout.
  • Have you seen footage of the final “9.5 seconds” in Washington last night? (theScore.com). Imagine the chaos if the Bruins had scored to beat the buzzer, only to find out that the goal wouldn’t count.
  • For the first time in over 60 years, a series has started with four straight overtime games, thanks to the Coyotes and Blackhawks (@theScoreTicker).
  • Did you see Paul Bissonnette get ejected for not having his jersey tied down in Game 4? (Puck Daddy). What an odd way to exit in what is just your third career playoff game, less than six minutes into the first period. Oh, that BizNasty.
  • The Sharks’ best probably isn’t good enough against the Blues (San Jose Mercury News).