Be better, Kevin Shattenkirk.
It could be the need to impress his new teammates, or the fact that he’s not as big as other defensemen, but Shattenkirk pulled off a dirty and unnecessary play during Saturday’s game with the Los Angeles Kings. With his team down, Shattenkirk charged Kings player Kevin Gravel behind the Kings net, and in doing so, he left his feet. It was his third minor penalty of the game, which is bad enough. Shattenkirk had a phone call with the NHL Department of Player Safety today and will be suspended for two games.
It’s the kind of play that produces an instant frown, and the fact that it’s a former Blue with integrity like Shatt only makes it worse. Washington Post sports writer Isabelle Khurshudyan pointed out the difficulty in finding sympathy in Shattenkirk’s decision:
Whether or not you agree w/ DoPS ruling for Shattenkirk, cannot think of worse penalty than OZ charging with team down a goal late in third.— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) March 12, 2017
If you look up stupid hockey decision making in the dictionary, this play is sitting right there on the page. There was no need to leave your feet on this play, or even use an elbow. Shattenkirk has been in the league far too long to forget fundamentals. The fact that the Capitals are 3-3 in his games with the team and losing ground to the Pittsburgh Penguins may play a role in his ruthlessness, but it still rubs the mind wrong.
This isn’t fake news by the way, because that makes $927,000 lost in salary due to suspensions in the NHL this year. Shattenkirk will forfeit a healthy chunk of change for his rebellious actions. Puck Daddy scribe Greg Wyshynski noted Shattenkirk’s clean history with the NHL for the reason his suspension was two games and not five, which is more suitable for such a bad hit.
Hockey is a rough game, but there’s no fucking room for this bullshit. While Shattenkirk was a great offensive defenseman who quarterbacked a power play better than any D-Man in the league, his ineptitude on defense reared its ugly head during every single game. This is a new low, and the New York native gets a pair of games to digest the mistake.
Do you recall a similar hit during his time with the Blues? I can’t at the moment.
Once again, be better Shattenkirk. Enjoy your deuce on the bench.