Let's take a gander at the following plays and try to take note of what they have in common....
- Non-hockey plays
- Made out of frustration
- Away from the puck
- Meant to cause harm
- Didn't cause injury
Look, I have no horse in this race. The only thing a Devils' player could do throughout the next few months that would require league review is commit a felony, and that damn sure wouldn't be happening anywhere close to NHL ice. As an objective fan I tend to err on the side of letting the players get away with a little more than usually during the playoffs, but - first and foremost - I think consistency is the most important aspect of enforcing discipline. That's why all of these guys should have been suspended or none of these guys should have been suspended.
These clips don't need to be broken down frame by frame. The intent of each person responsible doesn't need to measured in megapixels. These were idiotic decisions that may not have been made to cause serious harm to those on the ass end of them, but they certainly weren't made in hopes of helping their teams win hockey games.
What Matt Calvert did may have looked a little worse because it resulted in a broken stick and the victim showing off his acting chops, but his crosscheck to the back of Jake Guentzel wasn't any more or any less stupid and dangerous than every other incident above. If the NHL really wants to keep up this charade that they give a fuck about "player safety" then the only way to get through to them is by temporarily taking away their ability to play when they compromise it. If not, they should just do what they've been doing for the vast majority of their existence and blissfully ignore everything that doesn't cause immediate CTE. Honestly, I think either would be exponentially better than the haphazard, "pin the tail on the suspension" bullshit they are doing now.
We'll see what happens with Leon Draisaitl and I highly doubt Steve Ott's horse kick is even under review, but the fact that Matt Calvert and Ryan Hartman received different rulings is nothing short of moronic. One was obviously more subtle, but they had just about everything else in common. The fact that the DoPS can't see that is what concerns more so than the regularity with which these questionable situations need to be addressed.