Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 11/13/14

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 02: Martin Hanzal #11 of the Phoenix Coyotes watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Jobing.com Arena on November 2, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 5-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If you missed Game 2 in the series between Los Angeles and Phoenix, you missed several hits that could have / should have been reviewed by the NHL. Martin Hanzal's hit on Dustin Brown, Shane Doan's hit on Trevor Lewis and Derek Morris' knee on Rob Scuderi were just a few. Ultimately only one player, Hanzal, received NHL discipline (1 game) but others could have certainly seen some sort of additional punishment.

Then there's the Mike Smith incident. Smith developed a reputation earlier in this year's playoffs for embellishing contact. He was hit in the series against Chicago but made the most of it, doing a full barrel roll before hitting the ice. In Game 2 against Los Angeles, Smith was nudged by Dwight King, causing him to go sprawling to the ice as if a train had just collided into him. 

Would the NHL ever consider handing out discipline for a player that clearly embellished/dove on a play? For the sake of the sport we should all hope so.

First, view the video below to see Smith's latest performance. 


Martin Hanzal's hit was dirty and broke the rules. He earned a one-game suspension. Smith's acting job didn't physically harm a player but it is just as dirty of a play as Hanzal's hit. Where he isn't hurting another player he is hurting the sport and is damaging the NHL with each flop he makes.

The NHL often talks intent when reviewing hits, trying to determine whether a player meant to cause harm or injury. In Smith's case, the intent is clear. He is trying to deceive and cheat the game which as a result is making a mockery of the sport. 

At the very least, the NHL needs to recognize that goaltenders are just as, if not more, susceptible to diving as defenseman and forwards. For instance, in Game 2 Dustin Brown was slashed by Smith, sending the LA forward to his knees. Upon review, it was a blatant whack by Smith that caused Brown's legs to buckle. The officials deemed Brown flopped and sent him to the box for two minutes. Smith on the other hand didn't receive a slashing call nor did he receiving an acting call on Dwight King's goaltender interference penalty. There's no doubt that King bumped Smith. However, Smith's reaction is so over the top it's laughable and makes the NHL look foolish for allowing such acting to continue. 

The NHL needs to be aware of the problem and put an end to it before it can develop further. Already we have seen Smith go tumbling in this year's playoffs. He has gotten away with it each time and has even successfully drawn penalties on the opposition. If the NHL continues to turn a blind eye, don't be surprised to see more and more players falling at even the slightest point of contact in the hopes of sending an opponent to the box. 

Now, the argument here isn't that the NHL should suspend any player that takes a dive. The argument is that repeat offenders that make obvious dives clearly need to be taught a lesson. In Smith's case, he has flopped more than once in recent memory. Obviously there is nothing in his mind that is saying, "If I dive X will happen". He has done it and gotten away with it. Currently there aren't serious consequences for his actions.

No longer. Smith, and other players around the NHL, need to be on alert - the NHL will not tolerate diving and embellishing. At least, this is the message the NHL should be sending. Dive once? Fine - the monetary fine, not "that's O.K.". Dive multiple times? Be prepared to sit out a game. 

This may sound like a blatant attack on Smith. It isn't. There are plenty of players around the league that deploy a similar strategy - Smith just happens to be the most recent example. If you're a regular hockey fan you'll know who I'm referring to. In their case, like Smith's, the NHL has turned a blind eye.

This might sound like an overreaction but consider how other contact sports have struggled to keep cheating, flopping and phony injuries out of the game and it becomes evident that the NHL needs to put measures in place to keep its game as fair as possible. No one wants to watch a forward go sprawling to the ice whenever a defenseman leans on him. 

Keep the game clean. Start handing out fines or suspensions to players taking advantage of the game. At the very least it will send a message that the NHL won't stand for such behavior. Player's reputations aren't the only thing at stake. The NHL's reputation slips a notch each time a player successfully dives or embellishes contact and goes unpunished. Let's put an end to it.



Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Michael Bennett compares Pete Carroll to Willy Wonka

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

Warriors hang on, edge Rockets in Game 2 thriller

Farrell 'not ruling anything out' as Red Sox's struggles persist

Gretzky: Connor McDavid could be the next Gretzky


Bucs' Clint McDonald: Jameis Winston already leading team

Dana White: Rousey vs. Cyborg would break UFC PPV record

Report: Smith child abuse investigation 'sexual in nature'

DeGale: ‘At the end of the day I’m better’ than Dirrell

Belichick suspected Tom Brady wasn't being honest with him

Johnny Manziel to be a full participant in OTAs

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

Madison Bumgarner homered off of Clayton Kershaw

Would both Towns, Okafor prefer not being the No. 1 pick?

Spoiler Alert Central: Pitfalls in online viewing of live sports

NYPD officer takes photo with 'Eli's brother' at Letterman

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

NFL suspends Bills Marcell Dareus for violating substance abuse policy

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

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.