Crime and punishment
With Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs still in progress, eight NHLers have been suspended for a total of 16 games, that number likely to grow Friday when Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has a hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
A brief look at the miscreants misdeeds:
--Byron Bitz, Vancouver (Game 1 vs. Kings). The former Boston winger pile-drives Kyle Clifford from behind, knocking him face-first into the glass. Outcome: Suspended two games.
--Matt Carkner, Ottawa (Game 2 vs. Rangers, above, left). He jumps ex-St. Sebastians star Brian Boyle and pummels the giant forward, who opts to not engage in the battle. In Game 1, Boyle had punched Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson in the head. Outcome: Suspended one game.
--Carl Hagelin, New York (Game 2 vs. Senators, above, center). He hammers star winger Daniel Alfredsson with an elbow to the head, leaving the Senators icon concussed. Alfredsson suffered a concussion earlier this year, also in a game vs. the Rangers. Outcome: Suspended three games.
--Andrew Shaw, Chicago (Game 2 vs. Coyotes). Charging behind the net, unimpeded, he delivers a blindside shoulder check to Mike Smiths head as the Phoenix goalie attempts to play the puck, facing the boards. Outcome: Suspended three games.
--James Neal, Pittsburgh (Game 2 vs. Flyers). First he leaves his feet in the neutral zone, delivering a hit to Sean Couturiers head, then 30 seconds later similarly launches on Claude Giroux in the Philadelphia end, staggering the MVP candidate. Doubleheader of nastiness. Outcome: Suspended one game.
--Arron Asham, Pittsburgh (Game 2 vs. Flyers). Asham, who earlier this season reveled in his beat-down of Capitals forward Jay Beagle, races a number of strides and delivers a two-handed cross-check under Brayden Schenns chin. With Schenn down, Asham then punches him in the head. Outcome: Suspended four games.
--Nicklas Backstrom, Washington (Game 3 vs. Bruins). A frustrated Backstrom, with the game over (a 4-3 Boston victory), smacks his stick into Rich Peverleys face, receiving a match penalty. Outcome: Suspended one game.
--Raffi Torres, Phoenix (Game 3 vs. Blackhawks, above, right). He lines up Marian Hossa in the neutral zone, races in, leaves his feet, and delivers a crushing shoulder check to Hossas head. Hossa is strapped to a body board and taken to the hospital, examined, and released. No penalty called. Outcome: Suspended indefinitely (including Game 4 Thursday night), pending a disciplinary hearing Friday.