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Tuesdays With Hildy: Consistency in Punishment... is it necessary?

As a teacher, I have gotten a full blow at how necessary it is for children to be punished on an even playing field. The second that they get wind of someone being given preferential treatment because they're a "good kid" who "never does stuff like that," the kid who just got a week of OSS for bringing weed to school gets pissed. His intent was exactly the same as the good kid's - to break the rules and to get high. The intent was there, the handbook says that the punishment is a one week suspension, and those rules are bent because of past record and what the administrator thinks that "intent" is.

In a school situation, this kind of stuff leads to angry parent phone calls, threats to the school board of lawsuits, and general problems for everyone involved. The NHL, though, allows stuff like that to happen every day, and to the best of my knowledge no one's mom ever called to complain.

Unless Crosby's mom did when he was 3rd man in on the fight with Valabik, but I guess that explains how he didn't get fined for speedbagging Valabik's nuts.

Steve Ott is not getting his pow-wow with Colin Campbell over the knee on knee on Crombeen. Instead, he's getting it for the hip check on Cola.

The knee on knee check is one that normally comes with a hefty fine or a suspension for repeat offenders. A hip check, well, it's a lot easier to argue that your positioning was off or something like that.

But excuses aside, let's look at his hit on Cola versus Rob Scuderi's hit on Chimera.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Which looks worse? Which play looks sketchy? Look, I don't like the check on Carlo, but that was a legal hip check. What Scuderi did, regardless of intent to injure, or if he has a history, or whatever - that could have broken Chimera's neck easily. No one comes in that low to do a hip check unless there was some sort of intent to knock the other guy out.

What did Scuderi get as a punishment? Suspension? No. A fine, and he's ok - he doesn't have a "history." Ott, though, who the league has on a short leash (Avery's on the other, I'm sure), is having a good stern talking to and probably a suspension in his future.

How in the hell is this consistent?

Ott's hit on Crombeen wasn't pleasant either - less so than the hit on Cola.

How that doesn't get looked at is beyond me. Compare Ott's hit with Tuomo Ruutu's hit on Ilya Kovalchuk a couple of years ago:

That hit was just as bad, and if I remember correctly, Ruutu got a 3 game suspension for it. Again, where the hell is the consistency?

One other issue with these incidents are the penalties given. McCarthy didn't get an instigator when he went after Ruutu - he got 5 for fighting. Crombeen goes after Ott and gets an instigator. The scrum between the Blue Jackets and Kings resulted in a Los Angeles powerplay, because of an instigator given to Chimera. He just almost got his neck broken. How the HELL is that instigating the fight?

That's the equivalent of punishing the kid in a fight who defends himself, because he should have done the "right thing" and sat there to take it like a wuss. Sends a great message to that kid, and it sends a great message to the guy who is trying to stick up for himself.

Oops. I forgot the counterpoint. I guess that's because there really ISN'T ONE. Awful discipline and no consistency. As a hockey fan, I'm fairly tired of it. Let the guys police themselves, and incidents like the ones we saw this weekend don't happen. Simple as that.