Here's Brendan Shanahan to explain where Quincey went wrong. (Hint: it was in the air.)
My favourite thing about the reverse angle on the hit: the fans standing and applauding a leaping elbow to the head. Way to be, people.
Yesterday, I predicted that Quincey would get 2 games, and part of me wondered if, since he had missed the final 10 minutes of the Panthers game, the Department would consider it time served and shorten the ban to 1.
I was being pessimistic. I honestly hoped that the league would look at an obvious case like this and actually punish Quincey accordingly, rather than just shrugging since nobody got hurt. Shanahan is perfectly clear, after all, that this is as blatant a fault as you're going to see:
"As the two players come together, Quincey leaps into the air, launching himself and making significant contact with Kopecky's face... despite Quincey's assertion that he was simply bracing to counterhit Kopecky, the fact of the matter is that Kopecky never did attempt to throw a hit on this play... Any time a player launches prior to contact and makes excessive contact with an opponent's head, he subjects himself to scrutiny and the possbility that he may receive supplemental discipline.
Seriously, if the next line in the script was, "The Department of Player Safety has decided to suspend Kyle Quincey for four games," I wouldn't have batted an eye. But one game for a play on which Quincey leapt into Kopecky elbow-first for no reason?
That just seems slight, even for a player with no history of discipline.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney