In a perfect news vacuum, the story of James Neal being fined $2,500 by the NHL for his high sticking incident with P.K. Subban would likely just be a blip on the radar. You know, guy does something wrong, gets busted, pays fine – end of story.
It’s not quite the same in this instance for Neal, however, as the one reason he wound up conking Subban in the head is because Subban slew-footed Neal.
Thanks to the guys at The Pensblog, you can see for yourself how Subban kicked out Neal’s foot causing him to lose balance and tumble to the ice. In the process of doing that he hits Subban with his stick as he falls. Neal was given a high sticking minor on the play while Subban went unpenalized.
We know that the referees and Brendan Shanahan are doing their best here, but this is one play where they could’ve let Neal slide without punishment and perhaps given Subban a talking to instead. At the very least, given how that game played out and with Max Pacioretty’s suspension, the rest of their meetings this season should be a joy.