Andrew Shaw Hits Mike Smith, Is Wrongly Ejected From Game 2

During the second period on Saturday night, Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw made contact with Phoenix goalie Mike Smith. Here’s the video:

Shaw received a five minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct for the hit.

Despite TSN’s “experts” saying Shaw was reckless and malicious, this play is just another in an unfortunately growing list of examples of poor officiating impacting a postseason game.

You can watch the video and determine for yourself if there’s malicious intent behind Shaw’s hit, which appears to be helmet-to-helmet.

But let’s look into the black-and-white of the matter. Starting with the NHL rules.

If we take the call for what it was on the ice, “charging,” then let’s look to Rule 42.1, which deals with that specific call. It reads:

“Charging shall mean the actions of a player who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner”

We’ve already failed upon the intial definition of the penalty assessed to Shaw. But let’s dig a little deeper into the rule to see what it has to say about contact with a goalie.

“A minor, major or a major and a game misconduct shall be imposed on a player who charges a goalkeeper while the goalkeeper is within his goal crease.

“A goalkeeper is not ‘fair game’ just because he is outside the goal crease area. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. However, incidental contact, at the discretion of the Referee, will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.”

Opinions will differ regarding whether or not Shaw “made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact,” but there’s a bigger issue at play here than just the referees making the wrong call and assessing the wrong penalties.

When did goalies become exempt from the league’s concussion protocol?

Smith dropped as though he had been hit by a sniper from the upper deck at the Arena. He was down for some time, and the focus of the medical staff’s conversation with him on the ice was surrounding the focal point of the contact: his head.

This is a perfect example of a situation in which a player is required to leave the game for evaluation in the team’s quiet room.

Yet, once Shaw had been given the game misconduct penalty and was leaving the ice surface, Smith was putting his mask back on and taking his place between the pipes again.

Either Smith is as much a candidate for an Academy Award as he is for the Vezina, in which case the calls on Shaw were grossly inappropriate, or he needed to leave the game for the regulated amount of time.

Meanwhile, Smith stayed in the game and appeared to be as sharp, if not better, after the Shaw hit.

The 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs have seen almost every series impacted by terrible officiating, and the Blackhawks-Coyotes series has been far from the exception (see the Toews “interference” call for further evidence).

With the game finally having a platform in which every postseason game can be seen from coast-to-coast in the United States, the fact that stupid plays and terrible officiating is not something the league should allow, but they are as responsible as the zebras on the ice; the ugly incidents in New York and St. Louis on Saturday night are a result of Brendan Shanahan dropping the ball when disciplining Shea Weber.

The refs failed with how they handled the Shaw play, and it impacted the outcome of the game on Saturday night. How it impacts the series is yet to be seen.

43 thoughts on “Andrew Shaw Hits Mike Smith, Is Wrongly Ejected From Game 2

  • April 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    We just tied it…YES! BS call all the way; Shaw made no clear attempt to run Smith. Is the skater supposed to disappear while in proximity to a goalie out of the net? Smith earlier initiates the contact and reaches for JT and Taser gets the penalty. Shaw is involved in a full speed hockey play that involves momentum; he gets a 5 major and a game misconduct. Weber turnbuckles Zetterberg and gets his allowance taken away!
    OT starting…

  • April 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    A penalty yes, I can see them calling it…perhaps even a double minor…but 5 and a game, wow…and you are absolutely right about the focus to head of Smith, with that much concern, he should have been required to leave the game…the only conclusion that anyone can draw is that Smith was play acting.

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Bickell the hero.Who saw that coming?

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Brad, I couldn’t agree with you more. Smith was “play acting” and embelished that hit. However, the hockey gods knew what really happened and made sure that the game was decided correctly. Just like the Vancouver Canucks, last year, embelishment and cheap shots have no part in the game of hockey. HAWKS WIN, BABY!!!

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Great post Tab. I was screaming a short hand version at the top of my lungs when all this was going down.

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Oh and for JR to claim that Shaw should be suspended made me furious. No way should he get a suspension.

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Yes it was a questionable call. But you are such a homer that I kind of know if it was Crawford in the same situation you would be devoting just as much ink time to how lax everything is. If you want to call out the NHL you need to be less biased. You need to be less focussed on how dirty Vancouver is, for example. A hit is not dirty if a Vancouver commits it and clean if a Blackhawk commits it. Try to be less of a homer when you start pointing fingers.

    By the way, how does Vermette look? I wanted him before the deadline and you called me out on it. Phoenix got him for so little I am sure we could have had him and oduya without breaking a sweat, or the cap. Would have been a lot less sweaty tonight if he was playing for us….

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:40 am

    smith should be in the world cup. He got right up after 5 and a game went on the board. Justice was served. Shanaban doesn’t even have to call Phoenix to see if Smith is injured so there should not be a suspension. If there is then the Zetterberg decision is even more of a joke.

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

    @ Dominic: I invite you to go back and read what I wrote about Duncan Keith’s hit on Daniel Sedin and the hit that Daniel Carcillo made that led to a suspension & the injury that ended his season. I am very, very fair when it comes to calling out Blackhawks for dumb play. If you need an example, and don’t feel like doing the work to find one, here’s a link to my piece on the Carcillo hit:

    In related news, the Blackhawks aren’t playing Vancouver and the Canucks weren’t mentioned anywhere in this article. But welcome to the site! You’re clearly new here.

    Vermette’s a good player. But teams don’t usually trade good players inside the division, so thinking the Hawks had a shot at Vermette is terribly naive.

    With that being said, you have to wonder how different things might be in Columbus if they still had Vermette & Voracek…

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Both Keith and Carcillo got what they deserved, but Shaw should not get suspended. Just look at the Weber hit and non-suspension. You hope there is some consistency from the NHL, on this, but Shanahan is still a Red Wing.

  • April 15, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Dominic you can’t compare this hit to Keith or Carcillo. Smith was taking forever to play the puck and had no idea that Shaw was that close. Shaw was taking such a sharp angle that when Smith leaned over when he played the puck he got hit. Shaw was not targeting Smith as evidenced by Shaw immediately throwing hisarms in the air after the hit. Shaw was essentially saying what in the F*** was I supposed to do there?

  • April 15, 2012 at 1:49 am

    I wonder if Ron MacLean was part of the TSN experts.”

  • April 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

    EJ Hradek was no prize on NHL Network, either.

  • April 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Ryan, I agree… was Shaw malicious? No… really it is Smith dropping his head to get a little more zip on the pass…
    Did Shaw use 100% effort to get out of way…. probably not…

    IMO- Shaw wanted to graze him to send message, and Smith just dropped his head just a little more than Shaw thought he would! Based on that- there should be no suspension!
    Toews interference call was a JOKE- Smith hit Toews!

    Post-season reffing has been laughable-

    Glad to see Q move Toews off the Kane-Hossa line… better balance/quickness on all 4 lines is what is needed.

    Mayers-Kruger-Bollig or Frolik

  • April 15, 2012 at 9:10 am

    As much as I don’t want to see any player hurt, I agree that Mike Smith should get an academy award. Could not believe Shaw got tossed. NHL officials today are worse then they ever have been. The bigger problem is Bettman and other NHL officials. These clowns are going to suspend Shaw to justify the call on the ice, so as to look consistent in how they conduct business. They don’t want egg on their face, of all people to dish out suspensions, Brendan Shanahan. Like to know how many times he would’ve suspended himself when he was playing.

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Toews not at center? Are you high?

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

    nevermind, the order you had them listed had me cornfused

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I know that everyone is beating up the ref’s for the Shaw/Smith penalty, but, to be honest, it’s not the ref’s fault. The LEAGUE has changed the way the games are called. “Head contact” is a huge issue in the league, right now. Shaw made head contact with Smith, so the ref’s arm goes up.

    It doesn’t matter that Shaw was NOT attempting to target Smith’s head, or that Shaw was just skating through in order to disrupt Smith’s puck playing. Or, the fact that Shaw is 5″-6″ shorter than Smith and Smith clearly is looking down at the puck when contact is made. Head Contact was made and therefore a penalty needed to be called because that is what the rules state.

    A couple things………the refs waited to make a call which is the smart thing to do. They do not have to make an immediate call. They were allowed to discuss the penalty among themselves which is the smart thing to do. However, I can’t believe that one of those refs didn’t suggest that Mike Smith took a dive, or embelished the call. From the television view, I was looking for a guy with a rifle ’cause it looked like he was shot!! I can’t believe that (4) highly qualified hockey referees saw the same thing. Remember, the linesman can assist with the decision, too.

    Because Smith returned to the game and was not injured, the call should have been a 2 minute minor to Shaw and a 2 minute minor to Smith for diving. Or, a minor to Shaw and nothing for Smith. But because this is the playoffs and the game is on T.V. and everyone is watching, the refs wanted to make the league proud. Again, the league has done this to the refs.

    In hockey, contact is a necessity, as we all know. Sometimes, there is an injury on a simple play during the game. Just because there is an injury doesn’t mean that there was a penalty on the play. There are injuries without penalties because hockey is a contact sport. Because of the concussion rules, the head shot has become “taboo” in the league. Even on a play that was as routine as this one, a penalty gets called because Smiths head gets hit. Again, the league makes the rules and has put the refs in a tough spot.

    Two years ago, Shaw MIGHT have been given a minor for charging……maybe. My belief is that he should not be suspended and not be fined. But Shanahan plays by a different set of rules.

  • April 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The appropriate call on Shaw should have been 2 minutes for roughing. That’s it. End of story.

    Smith never left the ice despite having a personal history of concussions, which should be a clear indication to everyone that he’s either the dumbest goalieon the planet OR he was full of it from the get-go. Look at how Alfredsson responded to his head-hit last night at MSG for an example of how a concussed player deals with getting knocked silly. Furthermore, my bigger issue with the incident is that the refs ASSUMED Smith was leaving the game to FOLLOW LEAGUE PROTOCOL and go to the quiet room at least, so they gave Shaw the major + game under that ASSUMPTION. Not only did they assess a penalty based on an ASSUMPTION and not FACT, but the Coyotes then failed to follow league protocol for head shots.

  • April 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Agreed, my general statement “the refs have been horrible” is directed to all of the Playoff games!

    The non-suspension of Shea Web. (especially if Shaw gets suspended???), Toews Interference??? Boarding calls have disappeared across the Playoffs compared to how they were called in season…

    But by far the WORST CALL— Danny Briere was 2 Frickin strides over the blue line OFFSIDES when he caught the pass for a major goal in Game 1 of Pit./Phil. series….
    2 Refs were right there!!!!!! I would be pissed if I were a Penguin fan… HORRIBLE!!!

    The Refs should review replay to help decide “Intent” or who hit who! Once again, IMO- shaw doesn’t target head…. Smith dips head into the path of Shaw on a follow thru of moving puck… almost like you can’t call Highsticking when a Guy falls into a stick that you are holding at your waste!!! I know that is not a perfect example- but it makes my point!

  • April 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I was at the game last night, and am a Coyotes fan. Your comments are ridiculous in nature. Hits like this need to be severely penalized for all players of all teams. There is a player code of conduct and requires professionalism and integrity. These players are all responsible for each others safety and need to make a serious attempt to avoid injury. There were several boarding calls that were not made in this game, in additional to holding and tripping calls that were not made. The officials are deciding which team to favor well before the game begins. Shane Doan avoided injuring a player in last years playoff series with Detroit that put himself into the boards and out of the playoff series. That is player integrity! Congratulate yourselves but I would rather play with responsibility and integrity as my legacy than being a goon.

  • April 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Man, I love getting a sermon on player integrity from a fan of a team whose captain was suspended for a cheap head hit this year & who cheers for Raffi Torres.

  • April 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Yes you are perfect! Keep it up.

  • April 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Should Shaw have hurdled Smith to try to avoid hitting him? I’m sick of goalies wandering out of the crease thinking they can’t be touched while playing the puck. Or to avoid accidentally hitting his head should he have just put his shoulder into his chest for a “clean hit”? Ridiculous.

    And seriously you condone pretending to be injured to increase the penalty a player receives? If Smith didn’t lay on the ice for 5 minutes acting like he was concussed and leaving the game, Shaw probably gets 2. Instead, he pretends there is no chance he is going to be able to continue in the game and then is perfectly fine as soon as the 5 and Game Misconduct are on the board?

    And for people that think we would be crying if it happened to Crawford… it wouldn’t happen to Crawford. If someone clipped him like that he would get right up and chase down the person that did it. Faking injuries is pathetic.

  • April 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Oh, and if Doan is such an angel why has he been punching Toews in the face/back of the head at every chance he gets? Oh, because he wants to hurt him again so the Coyotes have a chance of winning the series? Some integrity he has.

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Regardless. If the strategy is we win the cup providing the referees are fair, then you guys haven’t been hockey fans long and if a team is built around that sissy strategy it will lose.

    If the strategy is to win no matter what the referees throw at us, then you know what playoff hockey is about. And you might be ready to win a cup….

    Just sayin…..

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Allen, Smith went down and rolled around like a world cup soccer player and as soon as the penalty was announced he got up and was ready to go. Where is the code of conduct?

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    It is playoffs. The code is win. That is all.

  • April 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I appreciate the colorful commentary. It is pretty easy to see the game from your own perspective. You see the officials calling the game towards Phoenix, I see the officials calling it towards Chicago. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, you are right, you have to win no matter the odds. All I am saying is if there is intent to injure than the pussy should be ejected from the game. I don’t believe Shaw had intent to injure, but there was significant contact at speed. If you believe Smith gave an acting job then you are looking through beer goggles. I have played hockey for 25 years, have been hurt, and have hurt a few along the way, but never with the intent to injure another player. And I am proud of that. If your code is win without regard for ending someone’s career, than I am also proud to NOT be a Blackhawk fan.

  • April 16, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Allen: I’ve Played, I’ve taken lumps, I’ve given them… but Smith went down like a Punter on that play. Was he hit, yes. Was it painful, I’m sure. But when a player goes down in that fashion, and then sees the player that hit him get kicked out, and now im all better, its not just beer goggles. There was some acting there. But its the playoff and you have to expect that. I dont blame the Coyotes or Smith. As a florida resident, and frequent visitor to Tampa/The Lightning, I actually LIKE Smith… Alot… He is a good goalie. The problem was with the officiating. Like tab said… 2 minutes was all it needed. I can see them calling a major cuz it was a goalie, and you dont want other players making runs at goalies later in the series. I think this was a case where the refs over reacted to avoid retaliation in any way.

  • April 16, 2012 at 7:13 am

    That was a total dive, and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. If Shaw gets a suspension then we have a serious problem here. Kudos to Smith for getting the officials to kick Shaw out, he was playing them tough. what a jag

  • April 16, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Allen, did Toews deserve the interference call when Smith initiated contact?

    You admit that Shaw did not have intent to injure… it logically follows that- he did not target head (because any Hitting of head/ at that speed would be intent to hurt)… the only logical argument considering those two statements is that Smith’s follow thru put himself in that position… once again, IMO- Shaw wanted to fly by and graze him (to send message)… Shaw didn’t anticipate Smith to dip and follow thru.

    Did any one see the King-Canucks… I have not seen that much flopping in an NBA game!!!! Awful- not saying Smith flopped… but If NHL doesn’t stop allowing???
    Every Goalie in league should go behind net and when opposing player goes by get really wide (exaggerate follow thru) and draw a penalty…. no-brainer… that game was a joke- looked like 10 Dennis Rodman’s playing Hockey!!!!

  • April 16, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Blatant too many men on the ice that led to a goal, the horrible GI called on Toews that led to a goal, game misconduct given to Shaw because they were under the impression that Smith was leaving the game… and you still think it’s going Chicago’s way? You talk about beer goggles, check your own prescription.

    And really if Doan is such a gentleman why does he keep punching Toews after every whistle? Just going to dodge the question?

    And seriously people lets stop talking about how we have played the game. It doesn’t validate your opinion in the slightest.

  • April 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

    JS, You are right. I played at the collegiate level and for over 30 years hence. Had a blast, great times, much travel and many friendships made. Now all I have to show from it is 1 knee. I couldn’t run from here to the beginning of this thread. I am now that hobbling zebra the lions are gonna take down for lunch.
    This will all make for an intense series moving forward which is playoff hockey.
    Speaking of Vancouver, as much as I want to play them, it gives me pleasure to see them lose. Brown nails Sedin with a solid open ice hit and Bieksa in true fashion goes ballistic. That hit was classic playoff hockey and Brown gets the last word with the game winner. I don’ t know who is worse, Bieksa, Burrows, or Torres?

  • April 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    You are absolutly right JS. I wasn’t attempting to validate anything. He had just mentioned he had played, and the point i was trying to reach was that ALOT of us have played hockey (or atleast some type of competetive sport) and we know a flop when we see one.

  • April 16, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I like what Gou said.

    If Shea Weber only gets a fine because his “turnbuckle” head-slamming did not cause an injury, then Andrew Shaw should only get a fine since his contact with Mike Smith also did not cause an injury.

    Shane Doan, a repeat offender, delivers a concussion-causing head shot during the regular season resulting in a 3 game suspension.

    Duncan Keith, NOT a repeat offender, delivers a concussion-causing head shot to Sedin resulting in a 5 game suspension.

    We’ll see what Brendan Shanahan, a former St. Louis Blue and former Detroit Red Wing does regarding Andrew Shaw.

  • April 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    If a player hits a goalie in the head at speed, he will get suspended. If not, it is open season on goalies. Weather it was intentional, he said, she said, we said, Smith acting, does not matter. The player going in at speed has to avoid the goalies head, period..He didn’t trip or get checked into him. He will get at least a game. There were plenty of missed calls on both sides, quit listening to the biased NBCS announcing…

  • April 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    If a player smashes another players face into the glass, he will get suspended. Otherwise it’s open season on smashing other players faces into glass. Oh wait…

  • April 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    There are always going to be missed calls Scott, and I’m sure that some have gone the Hawks way, but you can point out a few obvious ones that directly related to goals scored by Phoenix. However, crying about officiating isn’t going to do anything. Hawks are tied up 1-1 without many breaks going their way yet.

    And if you look at Shanahan’s previous suspensions for goaltender interference/charging, they all happen inside of the crease and he makes the call based upon the player trying to avoid contact with the goalie. If you check the replay from the ice level you can see Shaw turn his left shoulder out like he’s trying to avoid contact.

    I think Shaw will get at least a game. I don’t think he should, but after this pathetic weekend of hockey Shanahan needs to clamp down hard. I’m expecting Shaw to be suspended and at least 3 players from the Pitt/Philly series.

  • April 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Vrbatta out game one, Hanzal out game two, I would call that a big break for the Hawks, Two of their three most important forwards. Just like bad calls, injuries happen too, kidding yourself about Hawks not getting breaks….

  • April 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    i just watched the GI interference and Shaw hit again.
    Smith came out and hit Toews with both hands, otherwise there would have been little or no contact. no penalty.
    Shaw did not, not, try to hit Smith hard and couldn’t get out of the way because there was no space. Smith looked like a fool on the flop, and the penalty was called prior to
    Smith staying in the game.
    too many men was obvious, officials were both looking right at it.
    i think the league wants to give the phoenix area wins to promote the game there.
    go get Torres now.

  • April 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    We all need to remember something, here……….Shanahan works for the league, but he reports to the GM’s. According to several Canadian papers, several of the GM’s were furious that Shea Weber did not receive ANY game suspension for his blatant head slam. According to reports, Shanahan is under extreme pressure to start setting some “consistent standards” when making his judgement calls.

    Having a “director of player safety” is a great idea, but you can’t have an ex-player in charge. You need an ex-official to do the job. All officials have played the game at a very high level, so they are ex-players. Plus, they know the “book side” of the business, too(referee manual).

    It would not surprise me to see “Shanny” dismissed after the season and a retired official put in charge. Officials get graded throughout the season and through the playoffs. If I were to grade “Shanny”, I’d say he’s got an “F”.

  • April 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Shanaban was pretty consistent all year long. He hammered guys and did it quickly. Now the long drawn out process to come to a decision is a joke.
    My choice for a retired official to replace Shanaban is Bruce Hood.

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