BRIERE SUSPENDED THREE GAMES... ANOTHER INJUSTICE
The result, a three-game suspension.
I ask, why?
Look, I know he took a swipe at the back of Franz Nielsen's head with the shaft of his stick on a faceoff. He got the back of Nielsen's helmet and combined with a check from behind by Dan Carcillo, drove Nielsen into the ice.
It's a move I've seen many hockey players perform in the past without suspension.
Is it dirty? Yes. Is it part of the game? Yes.
Was it worthy of a suspension? Yeah, probably. But one game would have sufficed - for the premeditation of the hit. After all, it's not like Nielsen was injured (although after what he did after taking the hit, I would think he dressed up as a turtle for Halloween).
But, Briere got three games.
Now, the converse. New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro left the crease to get engaged in some of the hub-bub of the same game at least twice, although some will argue he did it three times.
Regardless, all he got was a minor penalty - once. And, after Briere's hit on Nielsen, DiPietro went after him and speared him in the groin with his goalie's stick.
I guess the league watched the MSG feed of the game because they both missed the spear.
But watch the Comcast feed, you'll see it.
What did DiPietro get? No penalty. No review. No fine. No suspension.
But Briere gets three games.
The rational side of me understands Campbell's decision - he had an opportunity to include the rematch between the Flyers and Islanders in the suspension, so he did that - just to try to quell any animosity by the Islanders toward Briere.
But, you know what? Whatever happened to letting the players handle these kinds of situations on the ice themselves? It's why fighting is still allowed in the sport.
If the Islanders wanted to try to pay back Briere Saturday, why not afford them that opportunity? If it caused the two teams to have another game full of penalties, then so be it. It's hockey. It's a rivalry. It's what makes the sport great.
Did anyone have a problem with Mike Richards going after Matt Cooke off the opening faceoff 24 hours earlier? Can't tell me that wasn't premeditated, but there wasn't even an instigation minor handed out there.
By taking Briere out of that game means this whole boiling pot will continue to simmer into another Flyers-Islanders tilt when Briere would be available - which isn't until December 5th.
Being the adjudicator of discipline, Campbell should have taken the whole picture into consideration, rather than make a rash decision.
Instead, that swift justice makes everyone lose - The Flyers will be without their top scoring center longer than they should, Briere is over-punished, and the Islanders don't get the opportunity to do what they need to do for another month.
Oh, and DiPietro got off scott free.
Just another misjudgment by a league that is prone to such mistakes.
Eric Wellwood has been recalled from the Phantoms to replace Briere while Nik Zherdev will be back in the lineup to replace Andreas Nodl who will miss the game tonight against Carolina with a shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky will again be in goal, starting for the fourth straight game.