Flyers left winger Dan Carcillo was given a four-game suspension by the NHL Sunday because of a game-altering
altercation in Saturday's 8-2 loss to visiting Washington.

"Decisions come down from the league. Do I agree with them all? No. I certainly do not agree with this one," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We do not have a lot of recourse in this situation, Dan will serve his suspension and we will move on."

I understood Carcillo, being a repeat offender, getting suspended _ until I read the NHL's release on the reason behind its decision.

Carcillo, the league said, has been suspended four games, without pay (nearly $44,000) "as a result of a 
deliberate blow to the face of Washington Capitals forward Matt Bradley."

Imagine that. A player getting into a fight and trying to hit his opponent in the face.

By the NHL's logic, I guess Carcillo wouldn't have been suspended if, say, he punched Bradley on the arm.

Call it the National Hilarity League. There's so much inconsistency in the penalties, suspensions and explanations that it's hilarious.

What the league should have said was this: Carcillo was suspended for not giving Bradley a chance to defend himself.

It also should have explained why Bradley was not given any penalties.

Carcillo appeared to get hit by Bradley's high stick near the sideboards in Saturday's first period. Carcillo retaliated with a cross-check and dropped his gloves. Just as Bradley threw off his right glove as if he wanted to fight, Carcillo decked the Caps' right winger with a right to his face.
      Carcillo was penalized two minutes for cross checking, two minutes for instigation, five minutes for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
    Bradley got zero minutes.
    New Flyers coach Peter Laviolette had a strict no-fighting policy when he coached in Carolina.
   "Well, one it was the playoffs, and two we didn't have a fighter," Laviolette said after Saturday's loss. "The makeup of Carolina is completely different from the makeup of Philadelphia. I'm OK with Danny's fight."
     But he wasn't OK with the other stuff that went with it.

* * * * * * *

Laviolette's system is "completely different" than John Stevens', defenseman Chris Pronger said.
"The way he wants to play, it needs to be more up tempo, there needs to be more skating and more outlet passes – guys getting available for the puck, guys wanting the puck."

At Sunday's practice, Laviolette made an impression on his players, who have lost seven of their last eight games.

"He was almost moving his feet more than we were," Scott Hartnell said. "He wants action, he wants a lot of stuff happening around the puck. I think this intensity is going to be contagious."

"Every coach is different. We're trying to change the systems a little bit, step by step," Claude Giroux said. "We aren't trying to do it all in the same day."

Ian Laperriere said Laviolette is more vocal than his predecessor.

"He does the drills with the boys. He was out of breath, so you can tell he hasn't coached for a while," Laperriere said. "It's good. He is in the mix and that is what we need right now. We need a boost. We need a spark and if it can come from him it would be great."

Mike Richards called it "a different approach to the offensive part of the game. There is a lot of cycling, a lot of movement; that's what we've been working on. It is going to take a little bit of time to get our systems down. But the pressure on the ice is going to be a lot better for us."
       But will it translate into goals? That's the question. The Flyers have scored a total of four goals in their last four games (all losses), during which they are 0 for 15 on the power play.