Commenter “Gibbz” today on this blog compared Jody Shelley’s shove of Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid into the boards in last night’s game to the play that Alexander Ovechkin injured Chicago’s Brian Campbell on last spring.
Here’s a look at that play:
It’s a pretty similar play, however, I would contend that the Washington superstar had a little more of a right to make a play like this on Campbell because Campbell had been handling the puck. When you watch the Shelley/McQuaid encounter, it’s a race for icing and neither the Flyers forward nor Boston blueliner is going to get there before Andrew Ference, who does touch the puck and is a decent distance away from the other two players.
Another play that can be compared occurred late last March between Darcy Tucker and Matt Greene.
As the replay showed, and the Los Angeles announcing team pointed out, Tucker was sort of jobbed because Greene was already going down when the contact happened.
Last season, Tucker received a one-game suspension, while Ovechkin got two games for his reckless play on Campbell.
According to TSN.ca, Shelley has three previous NHL suspensions — but none since March 2004. His good behavior since then, plus his apologetic tone postgame, will undoubtedly buy him some leniency from NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell NHL Senior VP Mike Murphy (because discipline czar will not rule on Bruins matters) and the league. But anything less than the two-game suspension Ovechkin received would be a travesty.
If a punishment is doled to Shelley, we’re likely to find out Monday. UPDATE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported on Twitter this afternoon that Shelley’s hearing with the league is set for Monday.