For raising an elbow on Michael Frolik during last night’s game against the Panthers, Mike Green will be suspended for three games [Tarik!]. The hockey powers that be in Toronto have said all season they were going to start getting tough on elbows and shots to the head, and apparently they’re starting with Canada’s best defenseman.
The angle of the shot broadcasted over CSN-DC made the hit look like nothing more than a stiff shoulder to Frolik’s dome. Seeing that view first will likely spark outrage of Caps fans, but the perspective below removes any doubt about the penalty’s provenance:
“I didn’t mean to elbow him. I might have got it up.”
The time off might be a blessing in disguise. Mike’s knee-on-knee hit last night likely resulted in a nasty contusion on his right leg. Three games off means Mike will have until next Friday to heal completely. Judging by the playoffs last year and his 3rd period “put me in, Coach!” last night, we know that Mike is the kind of guy who will try to play hurt, even at the risk of re-injuring himself. Admirable yes, but a league-mandated vacation will hopefully ensure that Mike Green’s next game is played at full health.
The real gloom over this issue is the league’s inconsistency when issuing suspensions. We aren’t the first to notice, nor will we be the last, but it still makes the Russian Machine mad as all hell. Admitting that Mike Green’s hit was bad (if not malicious) and meriting a penalty is one thing, but being the only guy to receive a suspension – after being injured in last night’s contest after absorbing a questionable knee on knee hit – makes Toronto look meretricious (Update: A “livid” Bruce Boudreau agrees). Mike Green, a first time offender who has never been suspended before in his career, will lose a staggering $81,000 for what we believe was an accidental elbow. I guess he’ll have to cut back on his winter hat collection. What do you guys think? Vote here.
Nonetheless Mike, enjoy your week off. We’ll be unsilently protesting on your behalf.