Alex Emelin faces suspension, Brendan Gallagher tackles Steve Mason

Rory Boylen

Montreal defenseman Alex Emelin will likely get a look from Brendan Shanahan Friday after the Russian received a five minute major and a game misconduct for an elbow on Philadelphia’s Steve Downie.

Emelin, one of the more devastating hitters in the league, came barrelling in on Downie, who saw him and tried to avoid the check. By stopping short, Downie unwittingly put himself into a vulnerable position with Emelin already locked on. Whether or not this play warrants a suspension depends on if you see Emelin’s elbow flail out as he comes forward.

To me, it looks like the elbow does come out slightly and makes contact with Downie’s head. That’s what this comes down to. Emelin doesn’t charge and doesn’t come out of his way to hit Downie in this way – it’s more Downie’s sudden move that made the whole play an awkward one. But in today’s culture any contact with the head is put under great scrutiny.

If it is a suspension, it’ll be a short one or two games. Of note, Downie left the game, but returned in the third period – and a stiff penalty was called on the play.

With Emelin gone, there was no retribution later in the game. In fact, after this incident in the final four minutes of the second period, there wasn’t another penalty called until after the Flyers had already won 2-1.

That’s right. With no time left on the clock, Flyers goalie Steve Mason didn’t like whatever Brian Gionta said to him and engaged. And before any other Flyer realized what was going on, Canadiens sophomore Brendan Gallagher tackled Mason.

Three thoughts:
1. This started with Mason’s shot to the back of Gionta’s head as he stood in front.
2. I love Ray Emery’s reaction at 1:27.
3. What would Chris Pronger do?

What do you think? Suspension or no suspension for Emelin?