( Photo Credit: NESN.com )
By: Yanni Latzanakis | Follow Me On Twitter: @yanlatz
On Wednesday night the Boston Bruins looked to take a two-nothing series lead in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals after a comeback victory over the St. Louis Blues in game one. One of the bigger stories from game one was Torey Krug leveling Blues’ forward Robert Thomas. After game two, another big hit is in the headlines, and that is the hit that injured B’s d-man Matt Grzelcyk.
Nearing the end of a thrilling four-goal first period, the Blues dumped the puck into the left corner where Grzelcyk went to retrieve. As he gathered the puck and sent it around the boards behind Tuukka Rask, he was hit from behind and was sent into the glass hard by Blues’ forward Oskar Sundqvist.
Grzelcyk was immediately down on the ice holding his head as Bruins trainer Don DelNegro made his way to check on the injured defenseman. Grzelcyk left the ice with help from teammates Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci and did not return. It was later reported that he was sent to the hospital for further testing.
The hit by Sundqvist earned him a minor penalty for boarding and was a clear hit from behind. Although it looked like a nasty hit, Grzelcyk was in an awkward position and was warranted of only a two minute minor instead of a five-minute major penalty.
On Thursday morning, the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety announced that Sundqvist will have a hearing for the hit. It was not specified as a phone hearing or an in-person hearing for Sundqvist.
Bruce Cassidy confirmed to the media Thursday that Grzelcyk did indeed leave the arena to go to the hospital for further testing after the hit and is now considered “day-to-day” as he is in the concussion protocol and will update on his condition as he receives more information. It was also noted that Grzelcyk will not make the flight to St. Louis with the team Thursday afternoon and that a decision on who will replace Matt Grzelyck in the lineup for game three will be made closer to game time.
For the rest of the game, the Bruins were forced to use only five defensemen which certainly tired the defense core for the Bruins, and it was a factor in the 3-2 overtime loss as the Bruins failed to exit the zone numerous times before Carl Gunnarsson won the game for the Blues.
When Charlie McAvoy was suspended for the first game of the Eastern Conference finals, Bruce Cassidy decided to pencil in Steven Kampfer in which he scored a goal in the 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. In Carolina for game four, Zdeno Chara missed the game, and John Moore drew into the lineup for the injured captain. It will be interesting to see who will step in for Grzelcyk at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis for game three on Saturday night.
Stay tuned to blackngoldhockey.com for more information when the NHL Player Safety’s decision is announced.