John Tortorella gets a raw deal from the NHL
At the risk of being accused of being a homer, I'm going to declare that the NHL has been too tough on Canucks coach John Tortorella for his behaviour on January 18.
He's just received a 15-day suspension for approaching the Calgary locker room after a brutally provocative stunt by Flames coach Bob Hartley.
What was Tortorella going to do with Calgary goon Brian McGrattan towering over him in the hall after the first period? Kick his shins?
The NHL's Colin Campbell claimed that Tortorella's actions on January 18 "were both dangerous and an embarrassment to the league".
The only person in danger was Tortorella, who risked having his face punched in because he was on his own.
Another Calgary troglodyte, Kevin Westgarth, was the real embarrassment, first trying to pick a fight with Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa before attempting to punch out rookie Kellan Lain.
McGrattan has a mere seven goals in eight seasons; Westgarth has scored just three goals in five seasons. Just the guys you want to start the game.
Tortorella will miss six games just as the Canucks are in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy didn't have to miss any games after nearly knocking down the glass in a game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Of course, Roy's outburst wasn't captured live on Hockey Night in Canada.
So he merely received a $10,000 fine.
Tortorella, on the other hand, suffered a much greater penalty even though his actions weren't nearly as dangerous as those of Roy or Hartley, who was fined $25,000.
In the NHL, it seems, justice is not blind when there's a national television audience.