Mired in a seven-game losing streak, the last thing the New Jersey Devils need is to lose one of their top-six defencemen to a suspension. Unfortunately, after Anton Volchenkov's ill-advised elbow to the head of Brad Marchand, they're at risk of exactly that:
It's a tough situation for Volchenkov. It's easy to elbow Marchand in the head, because a) he's so small and b) he really makes you want to. But it goes without saying that you're not allowed to do it, so while applaudable in some circles, it's suspendable in others.
Marchand left the game. Volchenkov did too, after being handed a five-minute major for elbowing and a 10-minute misconduct. But will that be all?
Working in Volchenkov's favour: he didn't leave his feet. While there is a moment when both his skates are off the ice, it comes after impact and not before. He didn't jump into this hit, although Joffrey Lupul reminded us this year that you can still get into trouble for elevating into a dirty hit.
In Volchenkov's case, however, the real issue will be that he appears to lead with his elbow. It's extended for quite awhile before it connects with the side of Marchand's helmet, and that might be enough for the DOPS Cops to call for a little more punishment. Between that and the fact that Volchenkov's a repeat offender under Shanahan, having been suspended three games for a headshot on Zach Boychuk, think one should see a suspension.
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- Brad Marchand
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