It’s almost never good when there’s a stretcher involved in any situation, and that held true Thursday night in Montreal in the first meeting of the season between two bitter rivals.
The air was temporarily sucked out of the Bell Centre just 4:28 into the first period of the first meeting between the Bruins and Canadiens when Montreal forward Max Pacioretty boarded Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk. As Boychuk turned away from the ice and toward the boards, Pacioretty hit Boychuk in the back and sent the Bruins blueliner tumbling awkwardly into the boards.
Boychuk’s face immediately filled with the look of someone in a lot of pain as he crumpled to the ice. The play eventually came to an end and Boychuk, on his hands and knees, looked like he was going to eventually get up. He never got up, though, as a Bruins trainer came out to tend to him on the ice. Moments later, the trainer called for the stretcher and Boychuk was eventually stabilized before being taken off on the stretcher.
Boychuk was then taken to a local hospital. Not long after, the Bruins released a statement saying that the D-man had feeling in all of his extremities and said that the hospital visit was precautionary. Luckily for Boychuk, nothing showed up in any of the tests done at the hospital.
Boston head coach Claude Julien announced after the game that Boychuk was doing well enough to travel with the team back to Boston following the game. Boychuk was actually on his way back to the Bell Centre where he’d rejoin the team before heading back to Boston. He’ll undergo further testing with the Bruins’ doctors upon returning home.
However, there’s still no concrete information on what Boychuk is dealing with. Julien offered no specific details on the nature or the extent of the injury and it’s unclear if Boychuk will miss time or how much time he would miss. The B’s are already banged up on the blue line. Adam McQuaid reaggravated a groin injury earlier this week and he missed Thursday’s game. Kevan Miller was called up Tuesday and was the healthy scratch Thursday night.