Brad Marchand was diagnosed with a mild concussion on Thursday, and Anton Volchenkov, the player who delivered the hit on Wednesday night, felt the repercussions of his actions.
The Devils defenseman was suspended for four games, as NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said Volchenkov made “reckless elbow contact” with the side of Marchand’s head.
Volchenkov has a history of physical play. On Feb. 8, 2011, he elbowed Carolina’s Zach Boychuk in the head, and was suspended for three games. However, Volchenkov is not technically considered a repeat offender under the current rules for supplemental discipline.
Volchenkov’s hit on Marchand took place in the second period of the Bruins’ 5-4 win. Johnny Boychuk sent the puck into the New Jersey zone around the boards. Marchand and Volchenkov raced for the puck, and as Marchand approached, Volchenkov extended his left elbow, which thudded into the left wing’s head. A wobbly Marchand hit the deck and needed help retreating to the dressing room. He did not return.
Marchand is the Bruins’ leading scorer with 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points. Marchand is averaging 17:10 of ice time, including 1:55 on the power play and 1:11 on the penalty kill. Marchand is one of the team’s most important all-around forwards.
It is unknown when Marchand will return. Shawn Thornton missed two games earlier this season after he suffered a mild concussion in a fight with Buffalo’s John Scott.
The Bruins had signed Carl Soderberg to a three-year contract, and Soderberg’s camp had negotiated his release from Linkoping, his Swedish club. But Soderberg’s arrival in Boston has hit a snag.
On Thursday, the Swedish federation vetoed Soderberg’s NHL transfer. It’s likely that the federation wants the forward’s services for the upcoming world championships. According to a source familiar with the situation, the Swedes could also be worried about an exodus of players to the NHL.
Soderberg, however, is a unique case. He was on the Bruins’ reserve list, meaning he does not have to clear waivers before reporting to Boston.
The Bruins followed standard protocol in negotiating Soderberg’s club release and NHL contract, the source said.
The NHL is now in a five-day period to determine the next move. It could stamp Soderberg’s transfer card despite the Swedish federation’s initial denial. If the Swedes protest again, the issue could be settled in an arbitration court.
According to a team source, Soderberg is “dying to come over here.”
Patrice Bergeron skated alongside several teammates Thursday morning at TD Garden for the first time since suffering his latest concussion April 2. Bergeron hit the ice alongside Tuukka Rask, Wade Redden, Adam McQuaid, Aaron Johnson, Kaspars Daugavins, and Jay Pandolfo. Bergeron skated hard and at the same pace as his teammates.
“It’s a sign that he’s going in the right direction,” coach Claude Julien said.
Assuming Bergeron continues to recover, the next step would be for the center to practice. The Bruins are scheduled to practice on Friday at Ristuccia Arena prior to their departure for Raleigh, N.C., for Saturday’s game against the Hurricanes.
McQuaid returned to the lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Islanders. He had missed 11 straight games because of a strained left shoulder. McQuaid suffered the injury March 19 when Winnipeg’s Eric Tangradi checked him into the end boards at the MTS Centre.
McQuaid, playing alongside Andrew Ference, had 15:52 of ice time, and was on the ice for both Islander goals.
“It has been a while since I’ve been in some game situations,” McQuaid said. “I guess considering that, it probably wasn’t too bad. Compared to where I need to be, probably not where I want to be, but I’m working to get there.”
McQuaid has had a rough year. He underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in October, and spent part of the lockout recovering from the procedure and rebuilding his strength.
Hamilton gets breather
Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch for the first time as an NHL player. He watched the game from the press box alongside assistant coach Doug Jarvis.
The Bruins had been hoping to give Hamilton a breather. He appeared in 32 games for Niagara prior to the end of the lockout, and played in the World Junior Championship. In August, Hamilton participated in the Canada-Russia Super Series.
“We had thought about giving him some rest earlier,” Julien said. “But he’s been playing so well that it’s been hard to take him out of the lineup. He’s played since August. He played in that Canada-Russia Cup. He’s played for his junior team. He played in the World Junior Championship. We’re getting near the end of our schedule, and I think it’s important for him to get some rest.”
Daugavins gets call
Daugavins, a healthy scratch the last two games, returned to the lineup. He was the fourth-line left wing alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton . . . Gregory Campbell played a season-high 22:00 . . . Tickets for the Bruins’ first three home playoff games will go on sale on next Friday at 11 a.m. They can be purchased at the TD Garden box office, at www.bostonbruins.com, or by calling Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) . . . Redden, Johnson, and Pandolfo were also healthy scratches.