Home > Eastern Conference, NHL > Carcillo ‘High Stick’ Yields 2 Game Suspension

Carcillo ‘High Stick’ Yields 2 Game Suspension


This past Sunday Daniel Carcillo of the Philadelphia Flyers was suspended for two games following his ‘high stick’ to the face on David Clarkson of the New Jersey Devils. Wait, didn’t Carcillo get a match penalty (intent to injure) and cross-checking call on Clarkson? Well, the Flyers say that the stick was up there ‘unintentionally’. That’s the story and Carcillo and his GM Paul Holmgren are sticking to. 

So what’s the problem? Well for starters, Clarkson’s hand deflected Carcillo’s stick upward. That takes away the intent. Then, there’s the issue of the deflection causing it to be a high-stickcross-check to the face. While this can be decided by the NHL rulebook stating a player must be in control of his stick at all times. This would allow for a high-sticking penalty, the lack of intent to injure should remove the match penalty. To top it all off, there’s a slight uproar in Philadelphia over the ruling. Flyers fans feel the NHL has all but given the Pittsburgh Penguins its stamp of approval, allowing for somewhat controversial plays to be played by the Pens without treating them the same way. The first thing Flyers fans bring up seems to be Sidney Crosby‘s cross-check on Henrik Zetterberg. Unfair they cry, it was the last few minutes in the third. Unsportsmanlike, unnecessary, why was there no penalty? 

The second? Well they’re also upset about Matt Cooke‘s hit on Marc Savard, however, I doubt they can complain because Mike Richards got away with the worst hit on David Booth.* But do the Flyers make a good point? Do the Penguins get preferential treatment by the NHL because Crosby is the face of the league? Or should fans and players alike suck it up, work harder and stop blaming Sidney Crosby for everything that’s wrong in their organization? On the flip-side does Crosby’s mistakes get targeted because there is a big bulls eye on his back? It’s probably a mixture of the three.

For now, I vote yes high sticking penalty, no match penalty, no suspension. Sara thinks match penalty and suspension, and Nadia tells me Carcillo’s story might be easier to believe if he hadn’t been suspended for four games earlier this season when he sucker punched Matt Bradley of the Washington Capitals. She thinks that the suspension is unnecessary but the penalty could be justified. Carcillo also leads the Flyers in penalty minutes and hits.

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*I’m sorry, I don’t mean to keep beating a dead horse, but seeing as Flyers fans bring this up, I have to touch on it one last time.

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