Originally written on NHL Hot Stove  |  Last updated 12/8/11

By Alexander Monaghan

On Tuesday night, the Colorado Avalanche came into their away game against the Vancouver Canucks with a game plan. After diligently researching their opponent, they determined that playing a physical game will throw the defending Western Conference Champions off their game; after all, the ‘Nucks did seem somewhat out of sorts against the Boston Bruins when tested physically last Spring.

The Avs generally play an up-tempo game, reliant on their top two lines to provide adequate scoring. However, with Paul Stastny sidelined, they decided to alter their game plan in order to stay in the game. At least that was their original thought process.

By contrast, the result was terrible on both ends of the ice. The Avs were unable to solve both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider en route to an embarrassing 6-0 loss. Perhaps more embarrassing than their performance was their actual conduct which included an absolutely brutal knee-on-knee hit by spare part Kevin Porter.

If you missed the play, let’s take a look at the video and exactly why Porter was suspended:

As far as Porter goes, you probably have to feel for the guy. He’s played in only 14 of the team’s 29 games and has only one goal to his name. The former Hobey Baker Award winner came through the ranks as a scoring line player but has been relegated to the fourth line or press box all season. Forced to adjust his game, the 25-year-old felt like he needed to make an impact and play the body.

But when David Booth was able to evade his hit, the Detroit native stuck out his knee in order to get a piece of the shifty winger. The rest is history — a dirty play, suspension-worthy and most likely debilitating to Porter’s future with the club. Porter is not a checking line player and playing out of his element clearly caught up to him.

Causing an injury also forced NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan‘s hand in making a decision. Politically, Shanny had to do something when considering the Canuck’s outrage and the injury caused on the play. Like it or not, Vancouver is a big draw for the NHL and bringing the Cup back to Canada would be a great thing for the sport.

By contrast, the Avs are in a tweener phase after finishing with the second-worst record in the League last year. Towards the end of the last season, the Denver Post didn’t even bother sending their reporters out on road games! Suspending a player like Porter is the popular decision, the right call and most importantly a move that won’t make him look bad.

When Shanahan chose not to suspend Milan Lucic for his now-infamous running of Ryan Miller by Milan Lucic, he put doubts in all of our minds. While running a goaltender is not the major crisis that Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier created, it was a controversial hit that injured another player. However, Shanahan would be suspending a poster boy of the current Stanley Cup Champions for playing within the current rule book. In short, he was in a no-win situation as his call, or non-call, set off whispers around the League.

Giving Porter four games is a victimless crime. It actually creates a benefiriciary in rookie Brad Malone and gives Booth and the Canucks some closure after the injury. Furthermore, it probably teaches the Avs to play their game. Or at least to play proper goons like Patrick Bordeleau and Cody McLeod when they decide to muck it up.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ukwuachu rape victim hires firm that prosecuted Winston

Leo Santa Cruz tops Abner Mares in slugfest

WATCH: Beckham makes great grab over Revis

SEC commissioner wrote classy note to injured Arkansas RB

John Daly taken to hospital after collapsing on course

Rex Ryan keeping Bills' starting quarterback a secret


Braves fan dies after falling from upper deck

Randall Cobb suffers shoulder injury vs. Eagles

WATCH: John Harbaugh, Jay Gruden get into shouting match

WATCH: Brian Hartline drags toes on great TD catch

Julio Jones, Falcons agree on 5-year contract extension

WATCH: Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion blasts three homers, extends hit streak

WATCH: Ricardo Mayorga taunts Shane Mosley in ring, loses

Will Jimmer Fredette find success with Spurs?

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

American Pharoah upset at Travers Stakes

Steve Smith joins family in stands after getting ejected from game

WATCH: Cordarrelle Patterson rips off 107-yard return TD

Steve Sarkisian giving up most of USC's playcalling duties

Animal shelter cancels fundraiser at Heinz Field

Mets acquire RP Addison Reed from Diamondbacks

WATCH: James Rodriguez scores unreal goals

Vin Scully: I believe next year will be my last

Charles Barkley wants to blow his former agent’s brains out

The Texas Rangers are firing on all cylinders

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker