TAMPA Evgeni Malkin wont be receiving any further scrutiny from the NHL after his boarding hit on Johnny Boychuk in the third period of Bostons Sunday afternoon loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
There will be no hearing and no supplemental discipline from Brendan Shanahan and the Department of Player Safety for Malkin, and there wasnt much expectation from the Bruins that it would amount to anything. Boychuk exited to the dressing room briefly following the hit to have his nose checked out after his face was plastered into the boards, but he finished up the third period.
So there was no injury.
It also appeared that Boychuk might have slightly turned away from Malkin just before contact was made on the hit, and Malkin has no prior history of borderline hits with the league. Above and beyond that theres also the perceived superstar treatment from the league: it oft-times takes something far above and beyond the pale from one of the leagues top players to merit a fine, hearing or suspension.
Bruins coach Claude Julien casually referenced that following Sunday afternoons loss while also acknowledging the difficulty of Shanahans job parsing through each and every controversial hit at the league offices.
Theyre the ones that make those decisions. We dont like those hits. My job is tough enough as it is, said Julien. 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.
The best news for the Bruins: Boychuk took a pretty healthy face-plant into the boards and walked away from it just a couple of weeks after suffering a mild concussion stemming from a Chris Neil steam-roller hit.