Addressing the media for the first time since the Islanders were handed two suspensions and a $100,000 fine, Garth Snow began the media scrum diplomatically. But as the impromptu press conference wore on, Snow hinted that he was not entirely satisfied with the league's decision to suspend both Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin and impose a $100,00 fine against the organization.
Snow said he respected the difficulty of Colin Cambell's job in discerning punishment and respected him and the League's decision, but after being repeatedly peppered with questions, he admitted he was somewhat thrown.
"For me, I thought when I saw the suspensions on both sides and the fines, I was a little surprised that it was just our club that got fined," Snow said.
He also pointed to some incidents that he felt went unnoticed by the league, and parted with what seemed to be a veiled shot at the league for not fining Dan Bylsma for Eric Godard's decision to jump the bench.
"Matt Moulson almost got his head taken off after he scored a goal to make it 6-0. I know John Tavares got cross-checked twice in the corner. There are playas that happened on both sides. But it's not for me to judge. I'm very proud that our team showed restraint--that no one left the bench to create a bench-clearing brawl scenario."
Snow carefully sidestepped the question when asked whether he thought the overall ruling was fair-- Trevor Gillies received a nine-game suspension and Matt Martin will serve a four-game ban. Additionally the team was fined $100,000.
"I would never criticize what Colin Campbell has to do--he's in a tough situation--but I will say that I'm very proud with the way the team competed," he said.
The league came down particularly hard on Gillies, Snow said, because of the current climate regarding hits to the head. Gillies' elbow on Tangradi left Tangradi with concussion-like symptoms.
"They're trying to eliminate checks that end up having an impact to the head," Snow said. "The hit that Trevor administered--I think he had the right intentions. In fact, he ended up maybe being reverse-hit a little bit and falling to the ice. At that point I thnk he was probably getting off the ice in engagement mode. Things happen pretty fast and that's the way I saw that play unfold."
Snow, who said pre-meditation was never brought up during the hearings-- does not plan on appealing the decision.
"No. It's a situation where the league does its due process and makes its ruling. For us, whether it's our team or another team, whether you agree with it or not, it's not something you can waste a lot of time with. You just prepare for the next team."