Typically the beginning of each NHL season is chock full of power plays as the league office instructs referees to crack down on obstruction, hooking, holding and slashing. As the season wears on, the crackdown wanes and by the time the playoffs roll around, hockey officiating is back to normal -- let them play and miss a number of calls both ways.
This season, the crack down has come not only from the on-ice officials, but from NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell as well. Campbell and the League have handed out four suspensions -- an indefinite suspension for Rick Rypien for his attack on a fan in Minnesota, three games to Shane Doan for his hit on Dan Sexton, two games to Niklas Hjalmarsson for his hit on Jason Pominville, and two games to James Wisniewski for his hand-puppetry display to Sean Avery.
This has left one fanbase wondering why Nicklas Backstrom hasn't been suspended for his role in Saturday's game between the Capitals and Predators. Backstrom laid this hit on Nashville center Marcel Goc.
Goc will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a separated shoulder, and has left On The Forcheck's Dirk Hoag wondering why Backstrom hasn't received a phone call from Colin Campbell.
To me, this seems to be a pretty straightforward case of a dangerous boarding play, and given the recent suspensions handed out to Niklas Hjalmarsson (who recieved 2 games for his boarding of Jason Pominville) and Shane Doan (who just got 3 games for this late hit on Dan Sexton), it's mind-boggling as to why Backstrom isn't facing supplementary discipline here.
Check out Hoag's take on the league's blind eye towards Nashville here. This isn't the first time it's happened.