Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been suspended three games for his hit to the head of Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith. Shaw will miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal against Phoenix. The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced the suspension on their website on Tuesday afternoon.
Smith is reportedly a game-time decision for Game 3 on Tuesday night at United Center in Chicago, despite the fact that he remained in Game 2 until its conclusion.
Brendan Shanahan, in making the NHL's ruling, asserted that Shaw's actions were not incidental, rather that the contact made between Shaw's shoulder and Smith's head was "unnecessary," and that Shaw "did not make a reasonable effort to avoid such contact."
It appears as though Brendan Shanahan has decided to finally lay down the law. After failing to suspend Shea Weber for intentionally slamming Henrik Zetterberg's into the glass, the NHL's postseason has decended into chaos, and there are certainly a number of people who theorize that Shanahan's lack of action is a reason for that. There are several other suspension decisions pending on Shanahan's desk, so we'll have to wait and see if he follows the same precedent.