SNYDER: Punishment doesn’t always fit the crime in NHL playoffs

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Once again, it’s time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” — Things I Don’t Understand:

• Why Nicklas Backstrom missed Game 4.

The Capitals’ top center admittedly cross-checked Boston’s Rich Peverley at the end of Game 3. But the infraction was no worse than some Bruins shenanigans that have gone unpunished. Besides, Backstrom’s reputation is squeaky-clean, which should count for something. The NHL said Backstrom’s reaction was “excessive and reckless.”

But the ruling reeks of excessive subjectivity and reckless disregard for fairness.

• Why Jordan Zimmermann gets no love.

Whatever the Nationals’ No. 3 starter did to the hitters, he should apologize and offer retribution. Because he’s getting virtually zero support. Zimm has yielded three earned runs in three starts, 21 innings in which the Nats have scored twice. Last year, the team averaged 2.6 runs while he was on the mound.

Here’s hoping they kiss and make up soon.

• How Pat Summitt’s impact can be quantified.

Summitt, who retired after 38 seasons, helped build women’s basketball as much as Tennessee’s dynasty. Her teams won eight of the 31 national titles and never missed the tournament. She won more games (1,098) than any other Division I basketball coach. Sixteen former players or assistants are head coaches.

We’re simply talking about one of the greatest coaches of all-time. Period.

• Why the NHL’s first round is violent.

Mixed martial arts don’t have anything on this. Nine players were suspended through Wednesday, two more than the entire postseason last year. Replays of Raffi Torres’ hit on Marian Hossa can cause whiplash. Shea Weber smashed Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass like a turnbuckle.

These games would be called off if Roger Goodell was the commissioner.

• How Andray Blatche is still out of shape.

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About the Author

Deron Snyder

Deron Snyder is an award-winning journalist and Washington Times sports columnist with more than 25 years of experience. He has worked at USA Today and his column was syndicated in Gannett’s 80-plus newspapers from 2000-2009, appearing in The Arizona Republic, The Indianapolis Star, The Detroit News and many others. Follow Deron on Twitter @DeronSnyder or email him at

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