Your Call : Brad Stuart Suspension – Thomas Hertl Goal

By Andy Graziano

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Islanders preparing to travel for a tough weekend road trip, news around Long Island has been quiet today. But that does not mean it has been for the rest of the National Hockey League.

After only a week in, we are dealing with some controversy surrounding the San Jose Sharks 9-2 drubbing of the New York Rangers on Tuesday night in San Jose.

Brad Stuart and Thomas Hertl were the primary ring-leaders in the rout and some around the league and rival fan-bases are already making their voices heard.

In case you have been living under a rock, the Sharks scored 7 times over the final 40 minutes and out-shot the Rangers 47-20 in driving star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to the bench and causing many in the Rangers supporters section to over-react on social media, declaring their season over after only 3 games (which, of course, is very pre-mature).

First, Brad Stuart, defenseman for the Sharks had this run in with New York star Rick Nash along the near boards.

While, initially, the hit looks clean, you can clearly see that Stuart targeted the head on the similar sized Nash, and that is a huge no-no in today’s NHL. The league ruled hard in this case, giving Stuart a three game suspension for his actions.

Did the hit deserve a suspension? By new standards and rules, yes it did. But at the same time, and this is by no means giving any justification, Nash got away with a Tito Santana style flying elbow last year with hardly a call from the league office.

What it does show is another example of the inconsistency in handing out these types of punishments by the league’s head of discipline, Brendan Shanahan. And it was clearly preceded by the man he replaced, Colin Campbell…..

The second incident involved San Jose’s dynamic 19 year old rookie. With his team up 7-2 and 8 minutes remaining in the third period this happened…..

The goal was clearly remarkable and brought fans out of their seats. But was it necessary? Thomas Hertl skated in like running a practice drill and just totally embarrassed the Rangers team and goaltender Martin Biron.

The Rangers did not react at all to this goal in any shape or form, just like they did not avenge the Nash hit on the ice. Should they have? Putting all your fandom aside for a second and thinking like a hockey fan, let us know….