December 15, 2011
Brendan Shanahan made his opinion regarding knee-on-knee hits perfectly clear last week, when he suspended Colorado Avalanche centre Kevin Porter four games for his hit on David Booth.
He came down harder on Porter than he has on some of the NHL's headshot artists this season. That in mind, it stands to reason that Shanahan has a special kind of disdain for knee-on-knee hits, and Adam McQuaid might be contributing to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund after this one:
That's ugly. Lucky for Nick Foligno, he would be okay, although that's likely not going to be enough for McQuaid to avoid supplemental discipline.
I'm saying two games. McQuaid will see one fewer game because Foligno didn't suffer the sprained MCL that Booth did, and he'll see another shaved off because he didn't hang his knee for quite as long as Porter.
That's a major factor: In the Porter suspension video, Shanahan made it clear that "the distance the player travels with his knee outstretched" matters. While McQuaid commits as blatant a knee as you're going to see, he certainly doesn't come clear across the neutral zone with it jutting out as Porter did. It's a lot easier to see this as a reflex.
Still, reflexive as it it, it can't go unpunished, especially after Shanahan chose to send a message with the Porter hit. If he chooses not to discipline in this instance, that message will be wasted. I suspect he's aware of this.