Obviously, the NHL has found religion; they believe in Frans.
[Update: Johnson received a two-game suspension. Video below.]
If you were surprised that Erik Johnson would get a phone hearing with the NHL Office of Randomly Supplemental Discipline for his blatant but only minor-penalized slash late in Saturday night's loss to the Avalanche, Newsday's Arthur Staple provides some key context: The slash broke a bone in Nielsen's hand.
As regular Lighthouse Hockey readers know, whatever punishment the NHL might dole out to Johnson, it can't compare to what he will get in the afterlife for smiting the mild-mannered Danish God of Backhands.
There was probably no rush for a hearing with the onset of the Olympic break -- Johnson doesn't exactly need to know right away whether he can play in late February, and his pocketbook can probably withstand any fine without moving funds -- but the delay in getting to a hearing makes you wonder if the New York Islanders had to call the NHL's attention to the play, and the fact that it broke Nielsen's hand.
Because, you know, the NHL's philosophy is that dumb actions that cause injury are always looked upon more harshly than dumb actions that luckily avoid injury.
UPDATE: Johnson receives two games. Here is the official explanatory video, which considers that there was injury on the play and Johnson has no discipline history:
In considering this incident and another recent one involving their youngest star, Avalanche fans at Mile High Hockey are keen to that juxtaposition.
The Olympic break helps in that it gives Nielsen some healing time when the Isles aren't in action, but bet on him not being ready once the NHL schedule resumes. Of course, with the Islanders' season essentially down the drain anyway, any Nielsen absence will just give them some evaluation time for Brock Nelson and probably Ryan Strome in center roles.
- [Bits] Ladies First, Bossy in the Bronx, a visit from Carnker and Na Zdorovie Niinimaa
- Olympic Hockey TV Schedule: New York Islanders in Sochi
- Recap: Avalanche 5, Islanders 2 (EN x2): Scores can be Duch-ceiving, Isles DQ'd at Olympics
- Islanders vs. Avalanche: 5 Questions with Mile High Hockey
- Thomas Vanek Plan B: The New York Islanders' options for the morning after