By Allan Muir
The way Brendan Shanahan saw it, Anton Volchenkov had a choice. With Brad Marchand squarely in his sights, he could have blasted the Boston winger with a legal check, or he could have done something stupid.
Volchenkov went with Plan B. And so the New Jersey defender will sit out four critical stretch games.
Shanahan’s video explanation captured what everyone who watched the play saw. This was a cheap shot that could, and should, have been avoided.
“Rather than make a full body check, Volchenkov extends his elbow, making significant contact to the side of Marchand’s head,” Shanahan said. “Although Marchand…is stopping and turning his head away from Volchenkov to avoid the full force of the impending check, that doesn’t contribute or explain the reckless elbow contact to the head on what could’ve been a legal collision. He sees Marchand clearly, and if anything, Marchand’s actions just prior to contact forced Volchenkov to extend his elbow even further.”