When "playoff hockey" comes around, players often view it as a time to step up their physicality. But with the sensitivity surrounding head injuries and violence, the league has been handing down more suspensions for those players' conduct.
The first round has seen five particularly violent hits.
Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, Senators defenseman Matt Carkner and Rangers forward Carl Hagelin will all face suspensions after questionable shots in their respective series.
Meanwhile, Capitals star Nicklas Backstrom joined the list Monday after cross-checking Bruins forward Rich Peverley in the face.
And finally, Tuesday brought more pain as Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was stretchered off the ice after a hit from Coyotes forward Raffi Torres. His punishment, if any, will be decided in the coming days.
It's only the first round, and there's already plenty of tape to review and "shanabans" to hand out. But who deserved (or deserves) the most severe punishment?
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