Reacting to Carson Soucy’s suspension: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
1 month ago
On yesterday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal gave their thoughts on Carson Soucy receiving a one game suspension for a cross-check to the face of Connor McDavid at the end of game three between the Canucks and Oilers.
Here’s the clip:
“The danger of that whole scenario started when Zadorov came in and hit McDavid from behind, knocked him down, and then Soucy, who was going to cross-check McDavid in the mid-section, ends up cross checking him in the face,” Quads started. “I don’t disagree too much, if there was going to be a suspension, you could guess it would be one game.”
“It ended up being a way bigger talking point than I thought it would, and once that started and you learn he’s getting a hearing; that’s a big one,” said Harm. “That was a sign that he might get a game. To me, the biggest question in trying to examine this play in terms of warranting a suspension comes down to how much does intent matter? Clearly there was no intent on the part of Soucy to cross check McDavid to the face, it only happened because Zadorov knocked McDavid over. Considering McDavid had a two-hand slash on Soucy right before that, a cross check to the chest would have been a fine retaliatory play, so you can ask why he deserves anything more than a fine. There’s also the perspective that it doesn’t matter what the intent is, at the end of the day, McDavid got a cross-check to the face, there’s a strong precedent for cross checks to the face getting supplementary discipline, and it doesn’t matter whether he intended to or not.”
The suspension comes at a bad time for Vancouver heading into game 4 against the Oilers, though Noah Juulsen’s reputation as a clean physical player does check some boxes in the playoffs, assuming he slots in the lineup for Soucy. If Juulsen can play the sound, reliable, and collected game we saw from him in the second half of the regular season, Soucy’s absence should be alleviated to some degree. 
The conversation shifted to the eternal discussion of DOPS inconsistency.
“It ends up being a murky conversation and why there’s such debate on this topic is; in a vacuum, you want to tell me that cross check deserves one game, I may not agree with it but I can at least understand the logic behind it,” Harm continued. “The problem is the inconsistency with the Department of Player Safety. If you’re going to punish that, how many other plays in this series and the playoffs have happened that are arguably as dangerous or more that haven’t even gotten fines? The Kane slew foot on Hughes, the Ryan spear on Höglander, the Bennet sucker punch to Marchand- which was way worse- none of those plays even got fines, and here you have Soucy getting a game. I can understand why Canucks fans feel like, “Why was this the one play that got picked out when everything else has been let go?”
Quads chimed in: “If Elias Pettersson two-handed Evander Kane and then gets cross checked in the face or swarmed, I don’t think we’d be sitting here saying, “Oh, Pettersson should be allowed to two-hand people that are bigger and stronger than him.”
Harm: “If we had a precedent of a bunch of suspensions or plays where the punishment or lack-thereof made sense, you could give them the benefit of the doubt. But considering all the other events that have happened in this playoff series and outside of it, it feels like this one got picked out in part because it’s McDavid. I understand the frustration, while also understanding that had this been the other way around on let’s say Quinn Hughes, would we not be saying, ‘It doesn’t matter, at the end of the day Hughes got cross checked in the face after the game had ended’ so I can understand both sides of the argument.”
You can watch the full replay of the episode below:

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