Anton Volchenkov suspended four games for elbowing Brad Marchand

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New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended four games by the NHL for elbowing Bruins forward Brad Marchand on Wednesday night.

The hit came in the second period of the Bruins' win over the Devils when the loose puck was ringing around the boards. Marchand was coming up the boards to play the puck and Volchenkov was coming across to meet him. When he came to deliver a check, Volchenkov extended his elbow and appeared to elevate, making contact with Marchand's head.

As discipline boss Brendan Shanahan explains:

"Rather than make a full body check, Volchenkov extends his elbow, making significant contact to Marchand's head. Although Marchand, who stands 5'9, is stopping and turning his head away from Volchenkov to avoid the full force of the impending check, that doesn't contribute or explain the reckless elbow contact to the head on what could have been a legal collision."

"It's also important to note that sometimes a player getting hit will duck, turn or stop short just prior to contact and cause a routine body check to suddenly have considerable head contact, this is not the case here. Volchenkov is in control of this play and is fully responsible for the outcome. He sees Marchand clearly and if anything, Marchan'd actions just before contact force Volchenkov to extend his elbow even further."

As usual, a good, detailed explanation from Shanahan. His explanations have seemed to only get more clear and concise.

In determining the four-game suspension, Shanahan considered the usual criteria; it was a bad hit, Marchand was injured and didn't return and Volchenkov has a history. Though I'm not sure if the history of Volchenkov played a part since technically it doesn't exist because of the new CBA wording -- it was too long ago -- it seems like Shanahan used it in the judgment. Either way, it was a suspendable offense, that just contributes to the severity.

I think there will be few disagreements on this hit. It was a bad, reckless play from Volchenkov and four games seems fair. It was blatant and Marchand was hurt in the process.

Also, Volchenkov will be fined a total of $91,891.88, four games' worth of salary.

It had been a while since we had a suspension video from the Department of Player Safety, it was nice to keep quiet on that front. Oh well, it was a good run.

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