The Gate.

It’s no secret that part of the path to success in the NHL playoffs is not shooting yourself in the foot, as evidenced by every winning team, ever. A prolonged level of strong play is as much not beating yourself as it is scoring more goals than the team you’re playing and a key to that is not taking penalties or getting suspended.

Unfortunately for their Stanley Cup hopes, the Phoenix Coyotes forgot that part in their game two tilt with the Kings and let the wheels fall off the bus with undisciplined play. This was punctuated of course by two game misconducts by Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal for boarding calls.

Here are the hits:

The Doan hit is a borderline one of course, given that Lewis could clearly see Doan coming at him and still turned. That being said, I’m still inclined to suggest that Doan could have done more to pull up. I hate to be the 100000th person to reference the Brian Burke ‘hug’ but that was probably a more appropriate approach. Stop signs, kids.

The Hanzal hit, however, is absolutely suspension worthy. Back turned the entire way, big follow-through, face first into the boards. Literally no excuse for that.

Do you think Doan and/or Hanzal should be suspended? Fined?

Comments (13)

  1. Doan, no further action. He just got stuck in a bad spot because of Lewis turning at the last minute. As for Hanzal, he can sit the next one out and come back for the handshake in game 4.

  2. Am I a bad person for thinking the Hanzal hit was a Brown dive? Looks to me like the biggest thing putting Brown into the boards at that speed is a kickoff from his left foot.

  3. I think Smith’s hack at Browns legs was more serious then the Doan hit. Yes it was bad, and it’s boarding/charging in the new safer NHL, even if Lewis turned at the last couple seconds. Doan doesn’t do anything to lessen the blow, which is why I think he was called for the penalty. Smith on the other hand took a premeditated, vicious, swipe at the back of Browns knee,. For as big a whiner as Smith is about any contact being made to him, I’d very much say a 1 gamer should be on the books for him….but we know the Wheel of Justice will come up $2,500 fine because he’s far too important for his team to lose in the playoffs.

    • Absolutely!! Goalies are “protected” players, they have no business slashing/hacking opposing players skating by. Tic-for-tac??? Is it open season on Smith? If he wants to ‘play’ then he should go unprotected by the rules. Otherwise his actions should warrant a 1-game suspension, as would any other position player.

  4. I guess we’ll see if the NHL is serious about player safety, or if a team that they still own can play by a different set of rules than the rest of the league. Doan followed through clearly, it obviously wasn’t premeditated, but he is a (dirty) player of opportunity and took advantage of a vulnerable situation. The Brown hit was just a cheap shot as well as Mike Smith’s chop on his leg. They were clearly trying to take out the Kings best player. Mr Shanahan, shock us again with some nonsense explanations!

  5. Why the heck aren’t we even mentioning the Morris hit? That was up there with the best / worst of Marchment and Ulfie.

    • Because the league doesn’t care about knees for whatever reason.

      I agree. THAT one was the bad hit. I didn’t have a problem with either the Doan or Hanzal hit. Doan, because the guy turned and Hanzal because I think Brown bought it. Looked to me like Morris just went kneehunting.

  6. The Hanzal hit was pretty bad. I would call that suspension worthy. I’m not so sure about the hit from Doan though.

    Doan is committing to the hit just as Lewis starts to turn. Lewis sees him coming, knows he is going to get hit, and is facing away from the boards. Then he does a 180 just before Doan hits him. This seems like textbook “putting yourself in a vulnerable position.”

  7. Every time I see that Smith WHACK on Brown I can only think, WTF?!
    Really?
    Was it Retaliation?
    Is there a price on Brown’s head ala the N.O. Saints?
    I mean there is no action near the goal, Brown skates by and gets cheap sotted by the ‘protected’ goalie. Again, WTF?
    I can understand when there is a pile up, or when a player keeps poking at the puck after the whistle blows and the goalie gets hot. It’s (somewhat) acceptable for a goalie to give a shot or two of his own.
    But WTF Smitty, are your own players not sticking up for you so you feel that you have to give out your own cheap shots?

  8. Brown took a dive, are you kidding me???? He knew he was about to get face planted and used his left foot to leverage himself. That’s why he got up and continued to play and didn’t embellish like a certain Coyote goaltender. Hanzal should get two games, that way he can start his vacation early. Doan, I’m on the fence, Lewis turned away at the last second, but Doan’s past history of “questionable hits” will likely get him a game I think. As for Smith, he really should get suspended, but I say give him a $25,000 fine and see how likely he will do that again.

  9. “He turns. He looks right at me. I didn’t even look at him again” – Shane Doan

    For my money, Doan’s postgame comment on the hit really crystallizes why this sort of hit persists in the game, and what needs to change if those hits are going to go away. When you’re steaming in to nail someone against the boards and you’re not even aware of what they’re doing / what position they’re in, that’s a problem. I know Doan said it in an attempt to defend what happened, but to my ears he actually condemns himself; He paid no attention to the player he was hitting, he just locked in and nailed him. When Doan is about six feet out, Lewis begins to turn in for the typical “butt-out / face the boards to protect the puck” scrum position that we see a dozen times a game. So Doan failed to anticipate what seems like a fairly predictable move by Lewis, and once he’s within six feet he goes on autopilot and doesn’t take any notice of what Lewis is doing? This notion of “it’s not my fault because he wasn’t standing that way back when I decided I was going to go hit him”, common and accepted in the minds of so many in hockey, is something that will need to change if the league really wants to get this kind of stuff out of the game. But I’m just a goalie, what do I know.

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