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(CBS) Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw received a three-game suspension for running into Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Coyotes.
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s head disciplinarian, announced the suspension Tuesday afternoon.
“As the video shows, Smith goes behind the net to play a puck that has been rimmed around the boards as Shaw races in on the forecheck,” Shanahan said in his explanation on NHL.com. “Shaw takes a sharp angle off the right post and hits Smith in the head with his left shoulder, sending the Phoenix goaltender crashing to the ice. This charging against the goaltender.”
Shanahan then cites Rule 42.1, which reads:
A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease area. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper.
However, incidental contact, at the discretion of the referee, will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
“The contact Shaw makes with Smith is not incidental,” Shanahan said. “Rather, it is a forceful blow delivered by Shaw’s shoulder to smith’s chin. Also in our option, shaw does not make a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.”
Shanahan said he took in account the fact that Smith stayed in the game and did not have any apparent injury. He also said he took in account that Shaw has never been fined or suspended before.