Montreal Canadiens: Andrew Shaw Shouldn’t be Suspended

Montreal Canadiens Forward Andrew Shaw made a very unnecessary hit on Saturday night against the New York Ranger. However, Shaw doesn’t deserve to be suspended for it.

It’s no secret that Montreal Canadiens Forward Andrew Shaw plays a physical and aggressive style. Shaw never backs down from a verbal joust, or a battle in front of the net. It’s this in your face attitude that makes Andrew Shaw a hated player to play against.

However, every once and a while Shaw has crossed the line, and has taken bad penalties. Shaw has also made some very questionable hits, and has even been suspended for illegal hits.

For example, Shaw was suspended three games during the preseason for a brutal hit from behind, earlier in the season. Shaw also earned a match Penalty for a slew foot against the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the year. Now Shaw has created more controversy for his latest hit against the Rangers.

Andrew Shaw earned a match penalty for an illegal hit on Rangers Forward Jesper Fast. Shaw’s hit was a hard blindside hit, and Fast had no shot at protecting himself from the hit. As a result, the Rangers immediately went after Shaw, and than the Refs assessed Shaw a match Penalty for the hit.

All in all, Shaw earned 22 Penalty minutes in the period. However, after reviewing the play, it’s clear that Shaw doesn’t deserve a suspension for the hit.

Shaw’s Intent

It’s always nearly impossible to try and figure out what is going through a players mind, and if he intended to injure the opposing player. One way to determine the intent is to see where the principle point of contact is. So where does Shaw initiate contact on Fast?

When watching the video above of the Shaw hit, it’s clear where Shaw intends to hit Fast. The hit was shoulder to shoulder, and Shaw definitely didn’t target the head. Shaw could have hit Fast directly to the Head with his shoulder or with his elbow, but he chose not to.

This hit is definitely late, and Shaw makes contact in Fast’s blindside. There is no reason for Shaw to make this hit, and he was appropriately tossed from the game. However, there is know reason to give Shaw a suspension for a shoulder to shoulder hit.

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Final Thoughts

Also considering what happened earlier in the game, may explain Shaw’s aggression. Firstly, Shaw was called for an Interference Penalty that was definitely a phantom call against Rangers Defensemen Ryan McDonagh. This Penalty led to a Ranger goal, and it was a very questionable call to say the least.

Secondly, Shaw was pushed into Rangers Goalie Antti Raanta on a Canadiens disallowed goal, in the first period. The goal was called back for interference on Shaw, and this was yet another very questionable call by the refs as well.

It’s easy to see why Shaw would have been overly aggressive before making the hit. Shaw was punished enough by getting a match penalty, and shouldn’t get a suspension.

However, Shaw needs to be in control of his emotions, and shouldn’t take his frustrations out on the opponent. Otherwise he could end up hurting the Canadiens in future games.

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