Bruins wait to see if Malkin will receive discipline

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Bruins wait to see if Malkin will receive discipline

PITTSBURGH Once again a game between the Penguins and the Bruins has left the onlookers wondering if there will be any supplemental discipline coming down from Brendan Shanahan.

Evgeni Malkin crashed into Johnny Boychuk behind the Boston net while battling for the puck in the corner, and tagged Boychuks No. 55 on the back of his jersey before the defensemans face smashed up against the glass boards.

Thankfully for the Bruins, Boychuk made a quick pit stop in the dressing room to make sure his nose wasnt gushing blood but wasnt seriously hurt in Bostons 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh at the CONSOL Energy Center. Malkin was whistled for boarding after hitting Boychuk from behind, and Claude Julien didnt sound like hed be shocked if the Hart Trophy candidate heard from the NHL about the hit.

But Julien also seemed to think the sometimes special rules observed for the NHLs superstar class might be in effect as well.

My opinion doesnt matter. Ill tell you this much. It doesnt matter. Well have to wait and see what happens from that, said Julien. But it was Malkin that hit him, right? It wasnt Matt Cooke?

Did Julien think that Malkin will be suspended for the hit from behind?

It was Malkin with the hit. Well see. Theyll have to look at it. It was a hit from behind, said Julien. Theyre the ones that make those decisions. We dont like those hits. My job is tough enough as it is. I dont want to do his because Shanahans job is tough as well. Well let him do his job and Ill do mine. Well move on. Youve just got to look at it that way.

For different reasons they make their assessments and decide. We as coaches have to do our jobs and work with the guys we have. Worrying about a Malkin suspension is wasting a lot of time because it doesnt change anything on our team.

Malkin admitted it was a hit that needs to be stamped out of the game, but he also felt that Boychuk turned his back toward him immediately before the impact against the boards. So it was somewhere between an admission of guilt and blaming the victim in terms of hockey justice.

Yeah, (saw Boychuks shoulder first). I see him (controlling) the puck. Its a little bit dangerous, of course, because its near the far boards. I said sorry, of course but its tough to say; Ive not seen (the) replay, said Malkin. I (did) not jump. It was nothing dangerous. I (hit) with shoulder, not (the) elbow just shoulder. But he turned a little bit quickly, and it (became) a dangerous hit.

Boychuk wouldnt be drawn into any questions painting the hit as dirty or cheap, and instead was just happy he was okay after suffering a concussion against the Ottawa Senators just a couple of weeks ago.

It was a good thing I was close to the boards or it could have been a lot worse. It was a foot away or two feet, so it wasnt the head that hit the boards as much as my face part that hit the boards, said Boychuk. It was one of those plays. I feel fine. It was a penalty. He got a penalty, so thats the end of that.

Its clearly up to the Shanahan and the Player Safety Department to make a determination on the Malkin board of Boychuk, but the lack of injury will probably keep the supplemental discipline book from getting thrown at the Pittsburgh superstar.

Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

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Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Boston Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

* "On a night when (Clay) Buchholz was unavailable, (Matt) Barnes was unavailable, we were trying to get him as deep as possible to get us into those middle innings and possibly beyond.'' John Farrell on sticking with starter Steven Wright as long as he did.

* "We finally take the lead and I go out there and walk the first two guys. You can't do that. The guys kept battling back and for to dig another hole, it's tough.'' Steven Wright, recounting his fifth inning after the Red Sox had rallied to go ahead 5-4.

* "That's the guy you want. No other guy on the team, regardless of whether (someone else) is going 5-for-5. He's the guy that you want in that situation. He's done it so many times in his career. I'll pick him any day, before anyone.'' Xander Bogaerts on David Ortiz, who came to the plate in the ninth representing the potential winning run, but hit into a game-ending double play.

NOTES:

* The Red Sox are just 5-9 against Detroit since 2014.

* The loss means the Red Sox will lose this series, their first after winning or tying six straight.

* David Ortiz has now had 12 seasons with 25 or more homers, second-most in Red Sox history behind Ted Williams

* Ortiz tied Joe DiMaggio for 95th place on baseball's all-time run list with 1,390.

* Mookie Betts enjoyed his fifth multiple-double game of the season.

* For Betts, it was his 43rd multi-hit game this season, most in the majors.

* Dustin Pedroia (single) reached base safely for the 29th straight game

* Four of the nine players in the Tigers lineup -- Victor Martinez, Jose Iglesias, Mike Aviles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia once played for the Red Sox.

STARS:

1) Jarrod Saltalamacchia

The former Red Sox catcher had three hits on the night, none bigger than in the fifth when his two-run single was the key hit in the four-run inning.

2) Miguel Cabrera

Three batters into the game, Cabrera drove a pitch from Steven Wright out to right field for a quick 2-0 Detroit lead and the slugger's 20th homer of the season.

3) David Ortiz

Ortiz couldn't come through when he represented the potential winning run in the ninth, but he got the Red Sox back into the game in the third when his three-run homer almost erased the Tigers' 4-0 head start.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

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First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

First Impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

* Steven Wright continues to have problems with the weather.

Recall earlier this season that Wright's worst start of the season came in an outing against Houston, which was played in a non-stop downpour. Unable to properly grip the ball because of the wet conditions, Wright was pounded.

On Tuesday, there wasn't rain in the forecast, but the extreme heat and humidity -- gametime temperature was a steamy 92 degrees -- appeared to have some issues gripping the baseball because of sweat building up on his hand and arm.

Some of the knuckleballs Wright threw were flat with little movement, likely in part because he couldn't "push'' them out of his grip thanks to the slipperiness of the ball.

It's unclear what the Red Sox can do about this going forward, but if Wright has to be so protected against the elements to be successful, then the Sox have a problem.

* The bullpen remains a nightly adventure.

It's never a good thing when your starter can't through the fifth inning. It's even worse when the relievers who are then called upon can't shut the door, either.

Robbie Ross Jr., who has been up-and-down in his effectiveness for much of the year, retired five of the first six hitters he faced.

So far, so good.

But with two out in the seventh and the bases empty, Ross inexplicably lost command. First, he plunked Justin Upton. Then, he allowed a single. Then he issued consecutive walks to the eighth and ninth hitters in the Tigers' lineup, including a bases-loaded free pass to light-hitting Tyler Collins (.184 coming in).

It's that kind of unpredictability that makes it hard to navigate through the opponents batting order in the late innings

 * The drought with the bases loaded ended, but struggles with RISP continue

The Sox got a run-scoring single with the bases full by Dustin Pedroia in the sixth, producing a run, and ending a drought in which the Sox have, time after time, been unable to capitalize with the bases full.

But the situational hitting continues to dog them.

After going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position Monday night, the Sox were only marginally better (3-for-10) on Tuesday.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam