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Volchenkov faces suspension after elbowing Marchand

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By Allan Muir

Chances are that Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has earned a few days off at a time when his floundering team, losers of eight straight, can least afford his absence.

Anton Volchenkov earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct for delivering a vicious elbow to the head of Bruins forward midway through a 5-4 Boston win on Wednesday night.

Of course, the Bruins can’t afford to lose their leading goal scorer, either. And that should be clearly addressed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday.

It’s tough to imagine DOPS watching this video and not burying Volchenkov for this flagrant cheap shot. He didn’t just lead with his elbow. He had it up early. Really early. Hard to argue accidental contact here. Add in that Marchand was injured on the play and didn’t return to action, and Volchenkov looks cooked.

The only question is how much time he’ll miss. Odds are it will be more than Brendan Shanahan’s standard two-game sit-down because Volcnhenov would be considered a repeat offender after his three-game suspension in 2011. And if Shanahan and his crew are as committed to eliminating this type of foul as we think they are, this one should clock in at around five games.

Of course, we’ve been surprised before, so we shouldn’t take any suspension for granted until we see it come down from the DOPS. We’ll fill you in on updates as they become available.

UPDATE 2: Tom Gulitti confirms that Volchenkov faces a hearing on Thursday, but says no time has been set. He also says that I’m wrong about Volchenkov’s repeat offender status because the previous suspension occurred more than 18 months ago. That said, Gulitti believes DOPS will take the previous incident into account because it was for the same infraction.

UPDATE (or not an update)

  • Published On Apr 10, 2013
  • 3 comments
    sjq294
    sjq294

    When will the NHL get serious about head shots. Minimum 10 game suspension for clear headshots such as this one. More games for extenuating circumstances.

    Tmad
    Tmad

    So this is suspendable but Del Zotto on Neal isn't?

    BruinsRob
    BruinsRob

     @Tmad Sucks to lose a player like Neal but that is more of a bad luck hit while this is clear intent. Volchenkov is lining the hit up, targets the head with clean sight lines to the initial point if impact, leads with his elbow, uses his own force to launch up at the point of contact, and he made absolutely no intent to play the puck - purely targeting the players head.

     

    As terrible as it is to lose a player like Neal, Del Zotto clearly turns to play position on the puck. Throwing your elbows back to punctuate the hit is a bit suspect but it also could be a way to keep your balance. Note that Neal hits him so hard he tosses Del Zotto into the air (with Del Zotto pushing back for the hit none the less). Not saying it was nice or clean but not even close to the same level of intent.

     

    Tough loss for the Bruins. 2nd time in as many weeks they lose their leading points player to concussion. Seems like all of the best players are taking a toll this time of the year. Not a good time to be a leading scorer on either the Pens or the B's. Speedy recovery to all.