Dion Phaneuf suspended 2 games

 

The Leafs are playing two of the NHL’s top seven teams over the next three games, and Dion Phaneuf will not play in two of them.

Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Safety have decided to suspend Phaneuf for two games for his his on Kevan Miller. Here’s Shanahan’s video:

Most pundits were predicting that Phaneuf would get 2-3 games for this hit, so all things considered, the Leafs’ captain got off somewhat lightly. Phaneuf has a reputation for destroying guys, but not for dirty hits like this. It was a poor judgment on his part, but his otherwise clean record was likely the main reason he got two instead of three. It’s also noteworthy that Miller got up from the hit and appeared to be OK. He even left the game with a souvenir puck for scoring his first career NHL goal!

The Leafs’ next two games are back-to-back, first against Ben Scrivens and the mighty L.A. Kings, and then the equally mighty St. Louis Blues the next night. The Kings currently sit sixth in the NHL and the Blues are in seventh. These would have been tough games to win anyway. Without Phaneuf in the lineup – hooo boy.

Phaneuf’s suspension, if you can believe it, is the Leafs FIFTH of the season. David Clarkson got 10 games for leaving the bench to grab John Scott, Phil Kessel got three for slashing John Scott, Carter Ashton got two games for a hit on Derek Smith vs. Calgary, Nazem Kadri got three games for steamrolling Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, and now Phaneuf gets two games. If you want to split hairs, Phil Kessel wasn’t suspended for any regular season games. Still, the Leafs have had five suspensions so far and it’s not even Christmas. What’s going on?

If I may try to take lemons and make lemonade, Phaneuf was starting to look pretty banged up. Maybe it’s not so bad that he’s getting a couple of games off. The odds of the Leafs beating the Kings or Blues even with him in the lineup are not fantastic. If the Leafs do win, it’s certainly a bonus. 

Plus there’s this, which is nice.

Then again…

  • beloch

    One thing I hated about Phaneuf when he was playing for Calgary was his incessant head-hunting. Sure, he’s smart enough to go for “clean” open-ice hits against players with their heads down, but he wound up way out of position half the time. He’s not as bad now as he was back then, but he still seems to go into HULK SMASH!!! mode every now and then, and it’s usually not helpful. If being shanabanned makes him think before hitting a little bit more, this could actually be a win for the Leafs.

  • Nate

    This one will hurt the team, with Dion out on a tough back-to-back with tough Western Conference teams in the Kings and Preds. Hope the leafs can at least split the series. Phaneuf will have to apologize to Elisha on why he is $66,000 poorer. Looking to see Franson take over his pairing with Carl. If your interested on another view on this story check out this article; http://www.gcconnected.com/?p=305

  • Jeremy Ian

    The fact that Phanuef is suspended is all Thortons fault. It he hadn’t been suspended we know his very presence on the ice would have stopped Phanuef from doing anything untoward because that is what goons do. Therefore, I blame the bruins and Thorton for Phanuef being suspended. Bruins suck always messing up the Leafs.

  • Bertly83

    have you ever watched a bruins game on NESN?

    so brutal.

    i know there is bias and homerism (joe bowen guilty as well, and has admitted it), but these guys take the cake.

    i just can’t watch/listen to it. muted the broadcast last time since it was my only viewing option.

    • Poluza

      I always look for the Canadian channels when live-streaming games, because they tend to spend more time talking about the play-by-play, and less time explaining hybrid icing

    • Jeremy Ian

      Grew up in Toronto but live in NJ now, so I have to endure the NESN broadcasts when the Leafs face the Bruins. It really is wretch-worthy. And the ignorance about hockey is amazing…

  • STAN

    Time for the D to suck it up and the forwards to help them out a whole lot more.

    This still leaves the team with four D-men who are more mobile than Phaneuf – Gardiner, Rielly, Liles and Franson.

  • Poluza

    So upon watching the broadcast of the Bruins/Pens game from the same station, I was very surprised at the attitude that they had. There were three separate “dirty” incidents, and none of them garnished the same language as the Phaneuf hit (Not even the Neal knee to the head!)

    Also, one thing that I noticed which I though was interesting: during the fight between Lucic and Engelland, there was a little box that immediately popped up displaying their height and weight. I just think interesting how they seem to glorify fighting by making it seem like a mini boxing match.

    Also on the note of fighting, the same broadcasters scolded Orpik for not fighting Thornton after hit big hit on Eriksson.

  • Poluza

    I’ve always loved the difference between the broadcasters of the two teams. The Leafs broadcaster treated it as a dirty play, and that Phaneuf was lucky not to get called on it. The Bruins broadcaster basically made it look like Phaneuf was the dirtiest player ever with a terrible reputation, and that the refs were blatantly ignoring the call because they want to keep dirty hits in the game.

    I can only imagine what they were saying during the game the night before…*to youtube!*