Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was taken to the hospital after being boarded by Oskar Sundqvist in the first period of Wednesday’s 3-2 Blues overtime win. Sundqvist got just two minutes, but a bunch more might be coming: Sundqvist has a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Late in the period, as Grzelcyk played the puck behind Boston’s net, Sundqvist boarded the off-balance Grzelcyk, slamming his head into the glass. Grzelcyk immediately reached for his head before collapsing to the ice as the teams scuffled.
Grzelcyk was taken to the hospital for testing, and though he did return to the building before the end of the game, he obviously didn’t return to the bench. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t have an update on Grzelcyk when he spoke to the media.
There’s an extra day off before Saturday’s Game 3 in St. Louis, but if Grzelcyk can’t go, John Moore or Steven Kampfer is likely to take his spot in the lineup. That didn’t help the Bruins on Wednesday, who had to play with five defenseman for most of the game, and clearly showed it as St. Louis controlled possession late.
“Losing 15-16 minutes of [Grzelcyk’s] time, a good puck mover, a guy who can break down a good forecheck when he’s on, and that was clearly a strength of [the Blues] tonight, and a weakness of ours breaking pucks out,” said Cassidy. “So that’s where we missed him the most I felt.”
Whether or not Grzelcyk can play in Game 3, Bruins forward David Backes hopes that Sundqvist doesn’t.
“I don’t think that’s a hit we want in our game,” Backes said. “It was from behind, elevated into his head into the glass. If that’s a two minute penalty, there’s going to be a shortage of defenseman I think in this series by the end of it, but that’s in somebody’s else’s hands. That’s something I think if I’m making that hit, I’m probably watching from the bleachers for a few. But we’ll see what happens with their player.”