Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead sees little point in hammering Daniel Howe, whose AFL season might be over because of suspension.
The tribunal banned Howe for three games over the tripping incident that left Carlton's Zac Fisher with a leg fracture.
Fisher is out for the rest of the season because of the injury.
Coupled with the two-game ban that Howe accepted for striking Blues onballer Patrick Cripps, he will miss Hawthorn's last five regular season games.
So the only way he plays again in the AFL this year is if the Hawks make the finals.
Speaking before Tuesday night's tribunal hearing, Roughead was asked how he would approach dealing with Howe and his two charges.
"You have to be careful how you go about it, because he still plays his best football when he's probably on the edge," Roughead said.
"It's just a matter of making sure he doesn't go over the edge.
"But I don't think it's a time to try to jump on a bloke and whack him as well, because he's going to be feeling pretty flat anyway.
"It's a matter of still being positive around him."
Hawthorn hold eighth spot by just .8 per cent ahead of ninth-placed Geelong and they have not won successive games since round 14.
They have a potentially-tricky assignment in Perth on Sunday against Fremantle.
Then Hawthorn play arch-rivals Essendon and Geelong, followed by St Kilda and a round-23 match at the SCG that could be massive for the Hawks and Sydney.
Roughead will stress to his younger teammates that the only priority for now is beating the Dockers.
"You just have to deal with this week and we've found in the last three weeks, it can be up and down like a rollercoaster," Roughead said of the Hawks' inconsistent form.
"You can't get too far ahead of yourself, especially with a young group.
"Make sure they understand it's week to week and they don't look five weeks ahead, thinking 'gee if we win this or the next one, we could definitely be playing finals'."