April 15, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing James Neal (18) skates away after laying out Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) with a check during the third period in game three of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Arena. The Flyers defeated the Penguins, 8-4. The Flyers lead the series, 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
I'll accept a four-game suspension for Arron Asham. It feels about right, given the nature of his attack on Brayden Schenn, his lack of suspension history, and previous precedent. I'm okay with knowing that he'll be out until the Conference Semifinals, provided the Penguins can come back and win four straight games against the Flyers.
According to Brendan Shanahan, the league is willing to accept Neal's assertion that his hit on Sean Couturier was the result of protecting himself against an unexpected collision. Let's look at the exact Shanny quote, because this shit is too hard to believe without it:
While we are willing to accept Neal's assertion that, on this play, he jumped to brace himself for an unintended collision, the fact that 42 seconds later he launches prior to making contact to Giroux, is not acceptable.
Oh, and Neal has a history, by the way.
To put it another way: "Oh hey, you know that bank robber who just got outta jail? The one who robbed that bank at 1 o'clock? Yeah, his fingerprints were all over that other bank at that other bank robbery at noon, but he says he didn't do it. I think we'll take his word for it." Idiotic.
Whatever. Let's make sure we don't play this guy again til next year, eh boys?