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Evgeni Malkin won’t be suspended for boarding

Mar 12, 2012, 12:59 PM EDT

During yesterday’s 5-2 Penguins win over Boston, there was a touch of controversy late in the third period. Penguins star Evgeni Malkin hit Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk from behind leading to Malkin receiving a minor penalty for boarding. The hit resulted in Boychuk leaving the game for a short time before returning and firing up the debate as to whether or not Malkin might be suspended.

Turns out Malkin has nothing to worry about as the league will not be taking action on him for the hit according to Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. No suspension, no fine, not even a firm talking to for Malkin. Did he deserve one though? Decide for yourself by checking out the video.

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  1. lsxphotog - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Boarding was the call, that’s what it was. No intent to injure, no contact to head. didn’t leave his feet. I agree there should be no suspension and absolutely no part of me wants to see the Penguins win games. haha

    • lsxphotog - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      Oh, damn. I said I didn’t like the Penguins. Thumbs down for sure…

    • pmarz1 - Mar 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      hit was from behind resulting in the head making contact with the boards. Intent doesnt matter on this type of a check, nor does the fact that he didnt target Boychuk’s head. The fact that the league didnt even review it calls into question their review process.

      • lsxphotog - Mar 15, 2012 at 12:59 AM

        Soooo boarding then? That’s what the call is for.

  2. abrienza428 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    It was a minor penalty, nothing else.
    Hit with the shoulder, and Boychuk kind of turned making it a hit about on the numbers. It did not seem malicious.

    If Pascal Dupuis delivered this hit, would anybody be talking about it?

    • dmacirish - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      no the discipline would have been handed down – $2500 fine and a hard talking – and then we would have moved on. Gino “Chicken Wing” Malkin gets a whole lot of articles like this and no discussion from the offices. http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/09/video-evgeni-malkin-might-be-getting-suspended/

  3. mgp1219 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Bruins fan here…I don’t think this was a malcious hit by Malkin and no suspension deserved. Malkin is not that kind of player and simply made a bad hit. However, that being said, I wonder what would have happened id Boychuck hit Malkin like that.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Lindy Ruff et al have made it so that where there used to be a double standard on illegal hits in favor of the Bruins, there is now a bias against them.

      That said, the hit doesn’t deserve a suspension. Malkin thought Boychuk was going to turn up ice, but he didn’t. Shanny should at least tell Malkin to be more careful.

    • somekat - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Eh, agree and disagree. I agree that he deserves nothing for that play. I’m not even sure it’s a penalty when you slow it down (Boychuck put himself in the postition as much as Malkin did, this is hockey, guys get hurt). But it was definitely not something that should get his suspended

      However, saying Malking isn’t “that kind of player” simply isn’t true, which is why people are talking about this. He’s gone out of way to try to hurt guys several times in his career (See Giroux this year, when Malkin tries to take his head off. Giroux is looking the other way, and the puck is AT LEAST 40 feet away), and he never gets called on it, because god forbid a superstar gets suspended

      • coreyw87 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:29 PM

        a couple things here about the giroux incident. what about the slash giroux gets away with first, superstar treatment? or how about we just penalize every atemped hit that looks like it would of been a suspention. besides this incident where nothing ever actually happend what are the other ones? i mean giroux is looking right at him as he swings or he would of never been able to duck out of the way. it was a little swing just to let giroux know he wouldnt accept being slashed the whole game by the gutless flyers who take cheap shots then dont accept the consequences. Hartnell most of the time

    • pmarz1 - Mar 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      I think the real issue here is if this were a Bruin, Ranger or Flyer putting that hit on Malkin, they would at least be having a chat with Shanahan. It has gotten to the point now that if you check someone into the boards from behind and get fined or suspended, you should appeal it. And for those who are posting that Boychuk put himself in a bad position, Im actually in agreement with that but the league has set the precedent regarding that as well with many suspensions to players for hitting guys in bad positions.

    • sabatimus - Mar 13, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      I think Malkin was given deferential treatment. See the Pascal Dupuis comment above. If it were anyone else on that team (sans Crosby of course), there’d at least be a fine.

  4. taytay099 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    This hit is identical to his hit on Willie Mitchell a few seasons ago. Knocked him out with a concussion and ended his season. I never like to see players get hit in the back and driven face first into the boards. No idea why so many of these hits aren’t suspensions.

  5. odj810 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    As long as he doesn’t sit out games i’m okay with him not getting suspended cause malkin is the best player in the league and i get the nhl needs him playing. But its not like he turned completely around like alot of people are taking it to be. how much did he turn his body 20 degrees?
    -Malkin hit boychuck square in the numbers against the boards
    -malkin drove him from behind with his shoulder into the boards where he had enough time to hold up
    there was no injury on the play so no harm no foul, and malkins ovbiously not a dirty player but,
    You can’t sit there and pretend the play wasn’t questionable and could have ended alot worse.

  6. sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    All boarding penalties look bad. If all boarding penalties were supensions though there would be alot of suspensions. It is what it is and I still think boychuck has some respnsibilty there but the right call was made, both with the penalty and with the no suspension.

    • taytay099 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Pause the video at 0:53 and you’ll see Malkin in the slot and staring at Boychuk’s numbers. Malkin makes no attempts to slow down or ease up on the hit so it’s not like it was a fast unpredictable play. I think that this was a dangerous hit by Malkin and there’s no way you can pin anything on Boychuck.

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        you shouldn’t stand that far from the boards with your back turned. Especially in a game where everyone was finishing their checks. Lets not forget he had the puck.

      • taytay099 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        You don’t hit players in the back with that much force. Players should respect each other when they’re in a vulnerable situation. Malkin did not need to hit him as hard. He could have pinned him to the boards instead and helped his teammate battle for the puck.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        It was a dangerous hit by Malkin–but an understandable one since Boychuk did turn toward the boards a bit just as Malkin is coming in.

        @sportsfreak13: Standing with your front to the boards is irrelevant. It’s whether a player turns to put himself in that position when a hit is coming in. The way the rules are written now, anyone can stand with their face toward the boards and should feel safe from being slammed face-first into them. At the very least, hitting someone in the number, who is facing the boards and isn’t turning, is a clear-cut boarding penalty that will probably earn fines or suspension.

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        thats why its a boarding penalty. But by standing in the position I described above he put himself in a vulnerable position. 75% malkin 25% boychuck. There was no need for lucic violent slash on michalek or the guy who ran over fleury. Those were penalties but you don’t hear me crying for any of those guys to get suspended. Its just a penalty move on.

      • rdurk86 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        So Boychuk is supposed to not defend the other player, not play the puck, or play it and immediately spin around to face away from the boards? Idoitic. The puck is in the corner, he turned to fire it behind the net and got slammed.

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        why would he defend the other player when he had the puck? And no he should play the puck just not post up 2 feet from the boards with his back turned in a Scrum. Cry all you want the fact is he’s not suspended.

      • rdurk86 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        Did you even watch the video?

        “Post up” – wow he might be posting up if you paused the video…

        He stick lifts the other guy, gets the puck, fires it behind the net and gets plastered. I’m not saying its a suspension (did I even say that before???) I’m saying you shouldn’t blame Boychuk for putting himself in a bad spot. It might have been a suspension or fine if Boychuk has a concussion.

        Why do people rationalize these stupid hits by blaming the players who got hit?

      • somekat - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Just wanted to comment on the “players should respect each other enough not to…..” comment, because it is ridiculous. Many of these guys do it on purpose, they KNOW you can’t hit them if they are standing a certain way, so they stand that way. These guys are ultra competitive, and will do almost anything for the slightest advantage.

        There are some plays, guys racing for an icing touch up, a play on a forecheck, etc, where this type of stuff happens. But for ever 1 boarding call that SHOULD be called, there are 5 called when the angle of the hit was caused by the guy with the puck. As a flyers fan, I can use Brierre as a very good expample of a guy who puts himself in this position a lot (although he doesn’t get the call much)

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        post up was a poor choice of words however both players have responsibility. I didn’t complain on the letang nystrom hit because letang put himself in a vulnerable position. The game is so fast that accidents happen. Suspenions should be for intentional head shots or intent to injure situations.

    • supercoop8 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      @sportsfreak – Fleury didn’t get run over Boychuk tried to jump around him at his own expense crashing into the post. As for the Lucic slash, rewind the game back twenty seconds and watch Michalek hit Lucic up high behind the play. Regardless these plays have nothing to do with the Malkin hit but the fact that you are telling people not to “cry” then complaining about other plays just simply makes you the worst.

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        im not complaining about them. I’m saying that’s hockey and those are penalties no more no less. Try and skew my words how you want but I have no problem with any of those plays. Nice try though

      • supercoop8 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Repetition isn’t askew

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        Take a reading comprehension class before posting.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        Reading comprehension is askew.

  7. drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Shanny needs to present a comprehensive video explaining exactly what is illegal and what isn’t. He used to be reasonably consistent, but now he’s all over the place and nobody has any idea what’s legal and what isn’t. The only certain outcome is that “marked” players will often not get the benefit of the doubt, even when they’re making legal checks.

  8. pensfan8718 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Ok, so you want Geno to be fined or suspended? Here are some facts, he is not a repeat offender, the guy turned his body as Geno makes contact. Remember back when Ovi jumped into our player? The reason he was suspended was he left his feet and targeted the head, also the player didn’t move or try to put himself into a dangerous place. Boston’s player clearly turns as he sees Geno coming, and principle contact really is his shoulder not the numbers on his back. 2 mins for boarding was the right call and no suspension is a good call by the NHL.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      My only beef with this is that, had Boychuk not turned up ice, it’d still have been a hit from behind into the boards. This is why you tell Malkin to be more careful or there will be fines or suspensions in his future.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Argh–should read “had Boychuk not turned more toward the boards”

      • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:01 PM

        Argh–should read “downthumb me please”

    • somekat - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      Pens v Flyers, in Pitt, this season

      Giroux is skating off the ice, looking back in the offsensive zone, at least 40 feet from the puck. Malkin is skating the other way, and tries to take off Giroux’s head (turned his whole body into the elbow attempt). Giroux turns his head at the last second, ducks, and just winds up with a body check (still 40 feet from the puck with no pentalty)

      Just because he hasnt’ connected, or hasn’t been suspended, doesn’t mean he hasn’t done it before. He’s known for doing something stupid when he is frustrated, just not for being called to account for it.

      • coreyw87 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

        ok besides this one thing name another??

  9. stratomaticfan - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Should have been a hearing…to show that they’re serious about getting dangerous situations out of the game. In the end, should have been a fine, at best. Dangerous hit w/o intent. Go B’s!

    • dmacirish - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      I agree on the phone call and fine. Some above have said he is not a repeat offender – well I was a repeat offender on somethings growing up but I never got in trouble so wasn’t labeled as one. There have been a few times in the recent weeks when Malkin has been the topic of “Further discipline or not?” conversations. Might need a “cooling down” talk from Shanny.

  10. michiganhockey11 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Nobody has a problem with this, but so many people were calling for Kronwall’s head on a platter for Shanahan the other week? Boychuk did turn at the last minute, but that was his body momentum as he shot the puck back to his left. Malkin had time to adjust and made no attempt to avoid/disrupt the b-line he had on his numbers. This hit was much more dangerous than what Kronwall did to Voracek.

    • somekat - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      kronwall’s hit was (preceived to be) at Voracek’s head (the point of contact, not what hit the boards). The comparison is laughable. Besides the fact that they were both hits, they have nothing in common

    • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Voracek performs a cardinal sin on that hit–skating with your head down.

      Look, the game is fast and violent. If you don’t play it right, you’re going to get hurt.

      • dmacirish - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        you have the same opinion on the crosby hit which has had him out for a week or two now? – sarcasm

      • drewsylvania - Mar 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        Not sure which one you’re referring to.

  11. homelanddefense - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    If this was a Bruin doing this to someone else there would be plenty of people on here calling for his head. And even more people complaining about how the “Bruins get away with everything” and connecting it to Campbell being on Boston.

    Im not saying he should be suspended, but there needs to be consistency from the league on this stuff.

  12. govtminion2 - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Geno Pringles is one of the cleanest players in the NHL and should win the lady bing trophy this year. Claude giroux is jealous of Gino and his physical gifts. The soupcan is coming…get ready

    • dmacirish - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      how did giroux get brought into this?

    • stakex - Mar 12, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      Yes, because clean players do things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh9EenqzdtM

      That was an attempted elbow to the head by Malkin wayyyy behind the play, which he was not suspended for but should have been. If that was any other player, they would have gotten at least a game or two.

      I can also find you a heap of videos that show dirty or questionable plays by Malkin over the years. Hes not a “dirty” player, but hes far from the cleanest player in the league.

  13. stakex - Mar 12, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I don’t have much a problem with Malkin not being suspended for this hit (of course, I think most suspensions these days are BS). However I will make a couple points:

    1. Malkin clearly saw the numbers, and then made the decision to throw the check anyway. He had plenty of time to not follow through on the hit. Now, this has been one of the big things Shanahan talks about in his suspensions explinations and similar hits have resulted in suspensions this year.

    2. If this was anyone else playing for any other team, they would certainly have at least had a talk with Shanahan or been fined. I doubt many other players would get a total pass for a very avoidable hit from behind.

    3. If the players were reverse, and the hit was on Malkin all the Pens fans here would be ready to riot for “such a dirty hit” not being punished. I also have a hard time not thinking that Johnny Boychuk would have been given 1-3 games if he did the same think to Malkin.

    ——————————————————

    Again I don’t have much of an issue with Malkin not being suspended since I think the rules have gone a bit over board the last couple years, but inside the current rules and examples from past suspensions I don’t see how he wasn’t AT LEAST fined. This reeks of favoritism.

  14. coreyw87 - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    well i would have to say with the way shannahan explains the suspentions that this was not suspendable.

    1. malkin makes contact shoulder to shoulder and at the same split second he hits him boychuck turns the other way and puts himself in the postition.

    2.the everyone else excuse good one.

    3.once again what if what if thats a good bias to start suspending people. just like the giroux thing no you should be suspended cause if you would of it would of been bad.

    • homelanddefense - Mar 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      you are out of your mind if you think that was a shoulder to shoulder hit.

  15. scotch679 - Mar 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Would be a real shame if a “legal hit” Such as Malkin’s happened to the China doll, what goes around comes around even for Mario’s spoon fed babies.

  16. daltondee711 - Mar 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM

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  17. wingsrule12 - Mar 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    I can only imagine the outcry from Pens fans if it had been Cindy Crysby on the opposite end of the hit. The would be calls for the offending player to be sent to the electric chair.

    • chizmo - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Crosby has been on the opposite end of a borderline hit (see Steckel, Hedman) and neither were even given a look by the league. These things happen, if you’d like another example take a look at the Nystrom hit that put Letang back out after making a triumphant return from concussion.

      The Pens have been penalized for illegal hits and also received them with no resulting suspensions. Get over it and be happy Boychuk isn’t on the shelf for weeks, or months.

      Bringing Crosby into the conversation will not get you anywhere, as he hasn’t played more than a handful of games in the last year as a result of two hits that weren’t given a look.

      BTW Perhaps you missed the memo that “Cindy Crysby” is just a tad played out. Up your insult game!

  18. fthepens - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    THE STECKEL HIT WAS CINDYS FAULT FOR TURNING INTO STECKEL. STECKEL WAS NOT EVEN LOOKING AT CINDY WHEN THAT HAPPENED. CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY CINDY CRYSBY!!!!!!! THAT IS STILL FUNNY TO ME.

    • chizmo - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      still not upped :p

  19. justicemsb - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    I have always said that Shanahan plays favorites, and this just proves my point.

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