SHAUN McKernan's two-match ban for elbowing Eagle Brad Sheppard in the head is about what Adelaide expected, says coach Brenton Sanderson.  

Geelong coach Chris Scott was angered by the leniency of the suspension, saying: "For that to be worth two weeks … I think everyone in the world would say, 'That just doesn't smell right.'"

Sanderson said the tribunal process was confusing but that on this occasion, the punishment fitted the crime.

"We probably thought it'd be two or three weeks, it came back as two, so it's good for Shaun," Sanderson said.

"We've said for the whole way along it's hard to know what the penalty's going to be.

"There's a process in place, they've obviously gone through the process and it's spat out two weeks – that's what it is.

"There's times when I think there's some strange decisions and some times when they get it right.

"In this case, it's our player, he gets two weeks, let's just get on with footy hey?"

Sanderson was impressed by McKernan's aggression last Saturday night and while the suspension is untimely, it won't hurt the 22-year-old's chances of a contract renewal at season's end.

"That's the best game I've seen him play for us," Sanderson said.

"I liked the aggression but I didn't like the act (McKernan's hit) ... no one likes seeing that in footy.

"He didn't try and hurt the guy, it was just an undisciplined act which he now regrets."

McKernan's suspension leaves Sanderson with "selection headaches".

Angus Graham is unlikely to be given his first game as a Crow as he continues to develop a greater aerobic capacity, while key forward Lewis Johnston will need another game or two in the SANFL before he pushes for senior selection.

The inclusion of upgraded rookie defender Kyle Hartigan looms as a likely solution but that could force even more shuffling of the Crows' line-up.

"We can bring in Hartigan and play him as a defender and push one of those talls forward, or we could just play Hartigan forward – he played forward as a junior," he said.

"We'll try and get creative this week, we'll try and look for opportunities to give us a bit of a spark."

Sitting 12th, two wins out of the eight, the Crows are going to need that spark to catch if they're to fight their way back into finals calculations.

Sanderson admitted Friday night's clash against Collingwood at the MCG was "just about" do or die as the Crows battled to stay in the finals race.

"We've had some opportunities where we could stay alive; we're still alive, we've still got a pulse, but our backs are up against the wall," he said.

"We've got to go to Melbourne on Friday night and beat a really good side, sometimes that brings out the best in people and hopefully that’s the case for us."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry