We’ve waited all season to see who would be the first player to really test Brendan Shanahan’s nerve with a dirty hit or play, and we might have our answer already.
During the third period of Buffalo’s loss to Philadelphia, Ville Leino got away with an attempt to hit Flyers rookie Matt Read in the head with a rather Matt Cooke-like elbow. Sorry Pens fans, that’s just the description that works best.
Read had the puck at his feet in the zone with his head down when Leino skated past him sticking his elbow out and just missing connecting directly with Read’s head. Leino wasn’t penalized for the play and Read was uninjured by the glancing blow, but the intent to connect with Read’s head was all there.
See for yourself.
If ever there was a hit that fit perfectly under what Shanahan wants eliminated from the game, this is it. That kind of chicken wing elbow to another player’s head is wrong and expect Leino to get suspended merely for the gross intent he had on the play.