Just browsing the headlines this afternoon, I came across a few interesting tidbits on Mike Mottau’s hit on Franz Nielsen last night in New Jersey. I was a little annoyed last night because there really wasn’t any information at all regarding the hit or subsequent review. If this would have involved Canadian teams the media would have been all over it….. I digress. In case you haven’t heard, Mottau has been suspended for two games.
After viewing the video, do you think that this hit is worth two games, or more like five (thinking back to Pock’s hit on Shannon)? Do you think the NHL has any real rhyme or reason to determining their suspension handouts? Are you happy that Mottau was only given a two-minute elbowing penalty for this hit, a hit that left Nielsen with head and leg injuries? I know I am not happy, especially with some of the comments from the Devils last night. In case you have not seen Greg Logan’s blog entry on this from this morning – it is definately worth a read. Just to give you a taste, this part in particular:
nterestingly, Devils coach Brent Sutter wasn’t so sure. During his postgame scrum with Devils beat writers, Sutter said he didn’t check a replay after the game. Explaining his impression during the game, Sutter said: “[Mottau] came across and [Nielsen] was in front, so, I don’t know. He got the two-minute minor penalty on it. If the player didn’t get hurt, his ankle or the bottom part of his leg, that’s what it is. It’s a two-minute minor penalty. I didn’t see it after the game, so, I can’t really say.”
Coming from a guy who was incensed about the knockout blow the Islanders’ Doug Weight delivered to his son, Brandon Sutter, in a game earlier this season, it was a rather remarkable about-face. In that case, Brandon Sutter put his head down and Weight did his best to keep his elbows down for a clean hit that wasn’t even penalized. The next day, Brent Sutter criticized Weight for hitting a vulnerable player.
In this case, Mottau was beaten by Nielsen, and he crossed the line with a clear elbow to the head to stop the Islander. Suddenly, Brent Sutter develops a case of myopia. It’s that kind of hypocrisy that allows such dangerous plays to continue.
That wasn’t the only interesting entry on this subject today, Ken Rosenblatt on Islanders Outsider has some photo evidence taken from the videos that clearly show Mottau leading with his elbow, while off his skates.
In the end, I guess a two game suspension is supposed to suffice – but let it be known that should Nielsen be gone any longer than a game or two with his “injuries” that there will be the need for a stepped up response from the Islanders enforcers the next time these teams meet. Chippy is not a word that will describe what I want to see – bloodbath sort of sums it up more.