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Crime and punishment

By Kevin Paul Dupont
Globe Staff / April 19, 2012
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With Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs still in progress, eight NHLers have been suspended for a total of 16 games, that number likely to grow Friday when Coyotes forward Raffi Torres has a hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

A brief look at the miscreants’ misdeeds:

--Byron Bitz, Vancouver (Game 1 vs. Kings). The former Boston winger pile-drives Kyle Clifford from behind, knocking him face-first into the glass. Outcome: Suspended two games.

--Matt Carkner, Ottawa (Game 2 vs. Rangers, above, left). He jumps ex-St. Sebastian’s star Brian Boyle and pummels the giant forward, who opts to not engage in the battle. In Game 1, Boyle had punched Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson in the head. Outcome: Suspended one game.

--Carl Hagelin, New York (Game 2 vs. Senators, above, center). He hammers star winger Daniel Alfredsson with an elbow to the head, leaving the Senators icon concussed. Alfredsson suffered a concussion earlier this year, also in a game vs. the Rangers. Outcome: Suspended three games.

--Andrew Shaw, Chicago (Game 2 vs. Coyotes). Charging behind the net, unimpeded, he delivers a blindside shoulder check to Mike Smith’s head as the Phoenix goalie attempts to play the puck, facing the boards. Outcome: Suspended three games.

--James Neal, Pittsburgh (Game 2 vs. Flyers). First he leaves his feet in the neutral zone, delivering a hit to Sean Couturier’s head, then 30 seconds later similarly launches on Claude Giroux in the Philadelphia end, staggering the MVP candidate. Doubleheader of nastiness. Outcome: Suspended one game.

--Arron Asham, Pittsburgh (Game 2 vs. Flyers). Asham, who earlier this season reveled in his beat-down of Capitals forward Jay Beagle, races a number of strides and delivers a two-handed cross-check under Brayden Schenn’s chin. With Schenn down, Asham then punches him in the head. Outcome: Suspended four games.

--Nicklas Backstrom, Washington (Game 3 vs. Bruins). A frustrated Backstrom, with the game over (a 4-3 Boston victory), smacks his stick into Rich Peverley’s face, receiving a match penalty. Outcome: Suspended one game.

--Raffi Torres, Phoenix (Game 3 vs. Blackhawks, above, right). He lines up Marian Hossa in the neutral zone, races in, leaves his feet, and delivers a crushing shoulder check to Hossa’s head. Hossa is strapped to a body board and taken to the hospital, examined, and released. No penalty called. Outcome: Suspended indefinitely (including Game 4 Thursday night), pending a disciplinary hearing Friday.

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