There is no black. There is no white. There is only gray, and in the NHL, where the league office insists on dual residency in the United States and Canada, there's really no agreement on that, either.

Is it a gray area? Or is it a grey area? When it comes to drawing the line between legal hits and illegal ones, when it comes to delivering head shots and shouldering the burden of blame for head injuries, when it comes to making the calls in the heat of the moment and then relying on cooler heads to prevail later when trying to divine intent, there is never a consensus.

And amid all the angry debate less than a week into this year's playoffs, I'm more convinced than ever there never will be.

While the Red Wings awaited a verdict Sunday — one that finally came with a two-game suspension for Justin Abdelkader, following his controversial hit on Anaheim's Toni Lydman in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series — the NHL, still bothered by its own blurry vision, is waiting for something close to clarity.

And to hear the players and coaches talk — here, there, everywhere — it's going to be a long, confusing wait. No verdict from Brendan Shanahan was going to change that, because about the only thing everyone can agree on, as Anaheim's Teemu Selanne noted after practice Sunday at Joe Louis Arena, is that the league's vice president of player safety has a "tough job."