No to mention Brière getting suspended for an incidental high stick.
What is going on at the NHL head office? This kind of stuff, especially the Tucker hit is going to lead to retaliation. You can count on it, Tucker will be a marked man the next time the Sabres play the Leafs(this week I think), especially knowing Lindy Ruff's history of "goonery".
I hope I'm wrong, but I also hope the NHL starts handing down serious suspensions. All 3 of those guys should have gotten 3 games at the very least judging by how long Brière got.
That's the problem...imagine if Neil had done that to Kovalchuk. Neil would probably of got 4 games.
The reason there are different standards is because the NHL is a business.
Kovalchuck is a ticket draw; no one would buy any more or less tickets if Neil was in or out. You are correct it is not fair but it is just good business.
I guess this is the direction the league is going... people getting all riled up over:
a) a missed hit that ended up with some incidental knee-on-knee contact that normally wouldn't even be a minor penalty
b) the kind of defenseman punch-shove that used to happen every game and used to be punishable by a 2 minute minor
c) a nasty slash... which is the reason we have the contingency perhaps for 5 minute majors on stick infractions... but unless I'm mistaken Neil wasn't hurt, so why does it warrant more than the penalty?
Well, the league is bringing the questions on itself I guess by making some calls and letting others go. I do believe they have criteria. Maybe they should be a little bit more proactive in publicising their criteria and their justifications on the suspend/no suspend decision so that we can figure it all out.