First off, I present the video. I am, after all, about fairness. Sometimes.
Watch carefully and be the judge for yourself.
First off, I'm not here to condone Chris Osgood's butt-end or Mike Ribeiro's slash. But did either of them cause any damage?
I'm not about suspending only players who cause injury. Jarkko Ruutu and Ryan Hollweg weren't seriously injured by Chris Simon, but Simon's past transgressions and the intent of his actions justified his punishments. Same for Ryan Kesler and Chris Pronger. Kesler wasn't injured, but Pronger still deserved what he got (and then some).
This is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This series is entering a pivotal Game Three Monday night in Dallas. Is it really in the NHL's best interest to reward Detroit for Osgood's pathetic flop by suspending Ribeiro for the game? Is it really in the NHL's best interest to reward Detroit for Osgood's deliberate (accident, my ass) butt-end on Ribeiro that led to the retaliatory slash?
We all know the officiating in these playoffs has been sub-par (actually, it's been worse than that, but unlike some blogs, I refuse to print that word here). The league doesn't need to step in here and make everything worse than it already is.
(And let's not get into Kris Draper getting away with blatant faceoff interference after a lame penalty was called on Morrow, nor should we discuss the blatant cross-check Chris Chelios got away with.)
(Morrow's penalty was almost criminal, by the way, given the timing and what had been let go during the third period. Sorry. I'm blabbing.)
I will say this for NHL officials. They're not as bad as NBA officials. But I'm starting to wonder if baseball's officiating is better, floating strike zones and all.
As for Game Three, it's obviously a must-win for Dallas. To get the win, they need another strong game from Marty Turco, and they need to do a better job getting the puck on net when they have chances. Collectively, their defensemen were too slow getting shots off, allowing people to get in the shooting lanes. Offensively, great chances (Steve Ott and Niklas Hagman come to mind) ended with shots that missed the net. That can't happen if Dallas is to climb back into this thing.