NHL’s Bettman: Suspension criticism ‘gamesmanship’

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Bettman proudly noted that the average number of hits per game had grown from 45 during the regular season to 68 in the playoffs through Wednesday. Emphasizing that he was referring to legal hits, Bettman didn’t see any correlation between that increase and the increase in suspensions for illegal ones.

He considers much of the physical play to be normal for a first round and already notices teams settling down. Still, penalty minutes have been up so far from past years.

The league announced later Friday that Shanahan would announce his ruling on Torres on Saturday, a decision sure to be dissected, too.

“I have confidence in the people that are doing it, even though they’re under intense scrutiny and criticism from both sides,” Bettman said. “For everybody who says it’s too much, there are people who say it’s too little. For everybody who doesn’t like a particular judgment, they say they’re being inconsistent.”

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