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Puck Daddy

Dave Bolland drills Mike Richards, Matt Cooke checks Adam McQuaid from behind; suspensions coming?

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

As the Chicago Blackhawks were defending their 2-1 lead late in the third period, Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards drove toward Corey Crawford, then around the net before stopping and trying to tuck the puck behind the goaltender. As he did, Dave Bolland laid this big hit on him:

No penalty was called on the play. There was no immediate update on Richards after the game. Richards denied two requests from the media to speak afterward. Most of the Kings players and head coach Darryl Sutter hadn't seen a replay of the hit during postgame availability with the media.

On the hit, Richards is focusing on a scoring chance, while Bolland is attempting to separate him from the puck, but not before attempting a pokecheck to deny the Kings forward's shot. Bolland launches himself into Richards clumsily and ends up with his back making contact with the chin. It's hard to see this one resulting in supplemental discipline.

(UPDATE: According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, Bolland will not face a disciplinary hearing. Same for Cooke, as per Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet.)

On the other hand, Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins put himself under the microscope of the NHL's Department of Player Safety with this hit from behind on Adam McQuaid Saturday night:

Cooke was given a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct. McQuaid went to the locker room, but returned a short time later to the game.

Having not been suspended for over two years, Cooke is no longer considered a repeat offender in the eyes of the DOPS, but still, he's Matt Cooke; he's always going to have eyes on him given his history.

You can argue that McQuaid saw Cooke coming and put himself in a vulnerable position, but Cooke should know he has to be smarter on that hit. But, is that a hit worthy of supplemental discipline? We're not sure so. A penalty? Sure. A major? Yeah, we can see that. A suspension? Probably not.

What do you think?

UPDATE: For good measure, here's Brad Marchand's boarding of James Neal, which earned him a two minute minor:

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