Stanley Cup Update: Niemenen Suspended

The NHL reviewed Villie Niemenen's boarding penalty on Lecavalier from game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals and decided to suspend Niemenen for game 5 as a result of his actions.

Said NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell regarding the decision: "Nieminen used his forearm to deliver a forceful hit from behind to the head of his opponent. This hit was more severe than any of the other plays that were brought to our attention during the Final. This was a hit that clearly crossed the line and was directed at the head. Even if Lecavalier is able to play in Game #5, this type of hit must be subject to supplemental discipline."

Since Niemenen was already suspended this postseason for an infraction against Detroit in the Western Conference Semifinals, he is considered a "repeat offender," which no doubt had an impact on the NHL's decision.

Good for the NHL. Niemenen's actions were over the line. Slamming someone headfirst into the boards is dangerous and has resulted in a number of life-threatening injuries on multiple players. There's a reason that the call is in the books, and the refs did the right move in calling it, as did the NHL in suspending Niemenen to send a message to both teams that this sort of shit will not be tolerated.

This has already become one of the more nasty Stanley Cup Finals in recent history, with the most fights in nearly 20 years, and we're only four games into the series. The NHL had to do something to keep things under control, and they did it.

Shame on Flames coach Daryl Sutter for saying the penalty would have been only 2 minutes if Vinny hadn't sold it.

Said Sutter: "Definitely a penalty. It's a two-minute penalty. It's called a five-minute penalty because they react to the player going down."

Apparently Vinny's busted-open head wasn't enough for Sutter to consider it a five-minute major.

As for Niemenen, he's an asshole. When you're down by a goal and the momentum is in your team's favor with five minutes left in the game, a major boarding penalty is the worst thing you can possibly do. Sutter shouldn't be complaining about the officiating, he should be scolding Niemenen for costing his team the opportunity to tie up game 4.

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Reverend Hughes