The 2015 NHL playoffs began last night — and we’re already knee deep in controversy. Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K Subban cracked Senators forward Mark Stone across the wrist with a two-handed slash that earned him a game misconduct. Ottawa fans are fuming — they wanted a suspension for Subban, especially since the Senators revealed Stone now has a microfracture in his wrist, and may not be available for game two.
“On Wednesday night, P.K. Subban’s two-
handed slash 8:23 into the second period on Senators winger Mark Stone warranted a five-minute major for slashing and an automatic game misconduct, not to mention hobbling Stone, who was in and out of the game with a clear right arm/hand injury.
“He tried targeting me a couple times in the first period off faceoffs,” Stone said. “I think he knew what he was doing.”
Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron revealed some juicy passages from the unwritten rulebook, threatening to respond in kind if the Department of Player Safety refuses to suspend Subban.
“I think it’s quite simple,” Senators head coach Dave Cameron said of the Subban-Stone incident. “It’s a vicious slash on an unprotected part of his body and you either do one of two things. I think it’s an easy solution: You either suspend him, or one of their best players gets slashed and you just give us five. It’s not that complicated.”
Hmmm. Not sure the league will be too happy with Cameron insinuating retribution there. But you can understand the Senators being angry, as Stone is easily their best forward in the second half of the season and a huge part of their team.” [ESPN]
This situation is reminiscent of the Matt Cooke – Erik Karlsson incident. Remember how Murray threatened to press charges for the skate-stomping injury to Karlsson? Ottawa loves protesting loudly to the media when they feel wronged, and the Senator’s official Twitter account broadcasting the news of Mark Stone’s microfracture only reinforces this reality. It’s an odd departure from the typical “Upper Body” lips-are-sealed protocol followed so religiously by every other organization in the league.
Cameron might find himself in hot water over the whole incident. Pierre LeBrun tweeted today that he doesn’t believe his comments will result in a fine or suspension, but the NHL won’t respond well to his “suspension or else” ultimatum.
Subban’s actions were irresponsible and totally unnecessary. Arguably, he’s their best player, and he removed himself from the rest of the game for absolutely no reason. He deserved the game misconduct, and I don’t have a problem saying it was a malicious slash that shouldn’t have a place in the game. Intent to injure? No way. Suspension? I don’t think so. Ottawa needs to move on and focus on game two.