The NHL upheld the automatic 1 game suspension handed down to Nicklas Backstrom for his match penalty Monday night. Capitals' coach Dale Hunter tried to claim that Backstrom was acting in self-defense out of fear of receiving another concussion. But cross-checking someone's face is hardly a defensive act.
However, compared to some of the other stuff we've seen the past few days, Backstrom's transgression seems relatively harmless. He got the same discipline as James Neal, who was much more aggressive, much more reckless, much more menacing in his violation.
I'm not saying that Backstrom shouldn't be suspended. Just that the NHL needs to issue more serious penalties for the more serious crimes.
This is a big advantage for the Bruins that they must press. Backstrom has a goal and an assist in the series and was winning 56% of his faceoffs. The Bruins can now reestablish themselves at the faceoff circle.
It's time to put this team away.