If illegal hits and league suspensions are a sign of team toughness (they aren't) then the Edmonton Oilers are well on their way to becoming a tough team. Two weeks after Andy Sutton became the first repeat offender to play nail to the Shanahammer, Lennart Petrell shoved Marek Zidlicky headfirst into the boards last night and will face Brendan Shanahan soon.
While the play doesn't qualify as a hit by any traditional definition, and there doesn't seem to be any malicious intent on Petrell's part, it doesn't matter. Petrell's shove is wildly dangerous and has no place in the game. Moreover, it's just stupid. There's no need to make that shove on a player in such a dangerous area. It's not the same play as the one Jarome Iginla made on Sheldon Souray because there's no stick involved, but it's still a shove from the same area.
Iginla should've faced a suspension at that time and Petrell should face a suspension for this hit. I predict Petrell will sit for two games.
Given the way he went into the boards, it was nice to see Zidlicky up and moving quickly, and I hope he suffers no injuries from this. He just returned from injured reserve after missing thirteen games due to post-concussion syndrome and was just rounding back into shape.