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.