Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella is the latest to add his name to Stephane Quintal’s naughty list. The blueliner has been suspended for two games for a headshot on New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson. The play, ruled an illegal check to the head, happened at 17:32 of the third period of Tuesday night’s game.
As Nelson, tied up with Minnesota’s Nino Niederreiter, moves into the zone, Scandella drives into him. Scandella’s left shoulder connects with Nelson’s jaw, making the head the primary point of contact on the hit.
Scandella was given a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head by referees Brad Watson and Brad Meier.
“Nelson is eligible to be checked on this play,” says Patrick Burke in the NHL Department of Player Safety video below, “and Scandella is in position to deliver a legal body check through Nelson’s core. However, rather than staying low and driving through Nelson’s shoulder and chest, Scandella straightens up while taking an angle of approach that causes Nelson’s jaw to absorb the brunt of this hit. […] On this play, head contact is avoidable.”
Marco Scandella loses $11,021.50 in salary. 2 days salary (based on 186 days in a season). #mnwild
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) December 11, 2014
The league also noted in their ruling that Scandella was fined for a similar hit – also an illegal check to the head – on St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie just 10 days prior. Scandella was fined $2,755.38 for that play. This time, he’ll sit for a pair.
That headshot on Nelson wasn’t the only bad behavior exhibited by Scandella in Tuesday night’s match. He found himself in the box earlier in the game for this wicked one-handed slash on Islanders’ forward John Tavares.
Here’s the complete ruling from the NHL Department of Player Safety:
Hopefully, Scandella realizes that the Department of Player Safety knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. If not, the games and fines will continue to pile up like lumps of coal in his stocking.
(h/t to @myregularface for the GIFs)