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NHL Discipline Still Confuses The Fuck Out Of Everyone

Ondrej Palat does a fly-by chicken wing to Brett Pesce's melon and gets two minutes for illegal check to the head. And that's it. No hearing. Shit, not even a fine for a hit that the league is purportedly trying to eradicate. Palat lifts his arm to make contact with the head of a opponent and his total punishment is two minutes in the penalty box. The speed/force of the play and Pesce being fine shouldn't matter much here---Palat goes out of his way to catch Pesce in the face/head and succeeds. Just on general principle---the NHL's general principle---he should've gotten at least a slap on wrist (i.e. fine).

Contrast that with a week ago when Winnipeg Jet Mark Scheifele used his body attempting to prevent Montreal Canadien Jake Evans from scoring a game-sealing empty-net goal in Game 1 (teams that go down 0-1 go on to lose the series roughly 70% of the time). It was a hard hit that was penalized for charging but it most certainly was not a head-shot nor did it resemble one. And like Whit noted, the Palat hit was dirtier.

Evans was injured on the play. Scheifele was given a five-minute charging major and game misconduct by the refs. He skated 180 feet because he was back-checking, trying to keep his team's flickering hope alive. Everything happens in under a second. It's a pretty close play and Scheif thought the body was a better option than the stick. He said afterwards that he was trying to prevent the goal and I give him the benefit of the doubt.

The Department of Player Safety wasn't having it though. It threw the book at him: four games (Whit always says on the pod how being suspended for one playoff game is the equivalent of two regular season games; eight games for that hit in February would've been a joke). The Jets lost an elite forward for Games 2-5 because he checked a guy fractions of a second after pushing the puck over the goal line. Winnipeg was dunzo after that and the Habs swept them. Scheifele will miss Opening Night to serve the final game of his supsension. 

You know what though? Even if Scheifele was full of shit and decided to bury him in that third of a second after the puck crossed the line, four games was still ridiculous. He should've just chicken-winged him instead.

This is nothing new. The Spinning Wheel of NHL Justice. The only consistency being the inconsistency. But it's been a minute since we've had such a glaring example of it. 

Giphy Images.