During yesterday’s 5-2 Penguins win over Boston, there was a touch of controversy late in the third period. Penguins star Evgeni Malkin hit Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk from behind leading to Malkin receiving a minor penalty for boarding. The hit resulted in Boychuk leaving the game for a short time before returning and firing up the debate as to whether or not Malkin might be suspended.
Turns out Malkin has nothing to worry about as the league will not be taking action on him for the hit according to Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. No suspension, no fine, not even a firm talking to for Malkin. Did he deserve one though? Decide for yourself by checking out the video.
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Last night when Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall delivered another his textbook borderline hits to Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek, it fired up the debate yet again as to what should and should not be punishable by the league.
Flyers fans were understandably furious over the hit believing that Kronwall targeted a helpless player while the Wings felt it was an unfortunate but legal play. TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweets this morning that Kronwall will not face supplementary discipline from the league for the hit and the reasoning will likely make Flyers fans even more upset.
The explanation is a bit more baffling, all things considered. If the head is the principle point of contact, wouldn’t that make it a violation of Rule 48? Perhaps this is just the league’s way of saying you’d better keep your head up at all times.
If you missed it last night, here’s the hit so you can judge for yourself.
Last night’s Flyers loss to San Jose saw the Sharks score just one goal but also saw an ugly hit.
Late in the third period, Flyers forward Danny Briere was hit from behind by Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The hit put Briere head-first into the corner boards and down on the ice. Vlasic somehow was not penalized for the hit and as CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio reports, Briere avoided injury on the play. That doesn’t mean Briere is feeling good about how it went down though.
“I never expected to be bulldozed there. It was scary. I was fortunate that it wasn’t worse that it was.
“I was just lost there. I kinda flipped around. I was dizzy there for a couple of seconds. I had no clue what happened.”
The Flyers are fortunate Briere isn’t hurt as he’s had concussion issues this year. Of course, concussions don’t always make themselves known immediately either.
As for the hit itself, see for yourself courtesy of CSNPhilly. This seems like the sort of play that would get Brendan Shanahan’s attention.
Update: Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News says there’ll be no hearing for Vlasic.
Last night’s 2-0 Rangers win over the Devils was spiced up a bit thanks to New Jersey’s David Clarkson.
Late in the second period, Clarkson took a run at New York’s Brandon Dubinsky by charging him. Clarkson appeared to leave his feet and lead his hit with an elbow aimed at the head of Dubinsky. While he connected with the body, he missed with his elbow and the two threw the gloves off to fight. The thought was that Clarkson might see a suspension coming from the hit.
Not so much. Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice finds out that Clarkson won’t be suspended for the play. Gulitti says two factors played into the decision in that Clarkson didn’t make contact with Dubinsky’s head and there was no injury on the play.
You can check out how the whole scene unfolds at HockeyFights.
Seeing Clarkson leave his feet and leading with his elbow would seem to be the exact kind of hit the league and Brendan Shanahan wants to see eliminated from the game. The fact that contact to the head wasn’t made and Dubinsky wasn’t hurt shouldn’t play into Shanahan’s decision. The intent to do harm was there.
Here’s your update on what’s happening with Kyle Turris.
Turris’ hit on Boston’s Joe Corvo that earned him an appointment with Brendan Shanahan this afternoon has resulted in no suspension for the Senators forward according to Ian Mendes of Sportsnet. Mendes reports that Turris is in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Islanders and will not face supplementary discipline.
Brendan Shanahan’s statement on why there’s no suspension for Turris was clear.
“Because there was enough head contact on this hit, the Department of Player Safety felt it was necessary to convene a hearing to examine the play further,” NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan said. “After reviewing the video extensively as we heard Turris’ explanation of how the play developed, we concluded that the head was not targeted intentionally or even recklessly and that the circumstances surrounding the hit contributed significantly to the amount of head contact that resulted.
“We therefore have decided that there will be no supplemental discipline added to the penalty assessed on the play.”
Makes sense to us, but that won’t do much to keep Bruins fans or NESN’s Jack Edwards happy.