Just hours after Washington’s Zach Sill was handed a two game suspension for boarding on Bruin Adam McQuaid(Sill Shouldn’t Be Suspended For Free Angling Lesson), another highly questionable hit has taken place in a game featuring Toronto and Anaheim. Late in the first period, Leafs player Roman Polak got behind Duck centre Mike Santorelli and drove him squarely from behind into the boards. A two minute minor for boarding was issued against Polak on the play.
In this case, Santorelli is clearly stationary moments before impact and it’s hard to tell what his next move is going to be. He is well ahead of Polak and establishes his position. He’s never exposed to Polak or presents himself in a way that he can safely be hit. Polak doesn’t have much speed, is in full control, and has no real reason to finish that check at that moment. He’s not yet committed to it and he’s never in a position to do it legally. Yet he then keeps two hands on his stick, lifts everything into Santorelli’s upper back, and pushes.
The circumstances leading up to the hit are obviously recognizable as a dangerous situation, and this contact could never have been anything other than dangerous. Polak does nothing with his hands or body to lessen the force of the impact. I would expect 2-3 games.