By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The NHL will be talking to Brad Marchand about another potentially dirty hit.
The league announced Wednesday that Marchand will face a disciplinary hearing for the elbow he delivered to the head of Devils forward Marcus Johansson in the third period of Tuesday night’s game between the Bruins and Devils.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic added the hearing will take place over the phone, which means the maximum penalty Marchand can face is a five-game suspension.
It’s unlikely Marchand’s punishment will even approach five games, but the hit in question could certainly lead to a suspension or a fine.
The hit came after netminder Ken Appleby covered up a puck with Marchand skating hard to the crease. Johansson stepped in front of Marchand, who appeared to launch an elbow into the head of Johansson at the same time that Johansson contacted Marchand with a stick to the midsection.
After the game — a 3-2 Bruins win in which Marchand scored what proved to be the game-winning goal — Marchand pleaded ignorance on the play.
“What happened? I don’t know. He got hurt. I don’t know what happened. I have no idea what happened,” Marchand said. “I took a shot and I tumbled down and he was hurt. So I don’t know what happened there, but hopefully he’s OK.”
Given Marchand’s long history of receiving supplementary discipline from the NHL, and given the visual on the replay, he’ll likely have to be more convincing than that if he hopes to escape punishment after his hearing. Marchand was suspended for two games last April for spearing, three games (including the Winter Classic) the previous season for clipping, two games in 2015 for slewfooting, five games in 2012 for a low hit on Sami Salo, and two games way back in 2011 for elbowing. He’s also been fined by the league three times for illegal hits.
Marchand has 21 goals and 50 points on the year, leading the Bruins in both categories. This month, he was named an NHL All-Star for the second straight season.
The Bruins next play Thursday night, before the schedule takes a four-day break for All-Star weekend.