BOSTON — Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is kind of a psycho, but in the very best possible way.
The Boston blueliner is one of the toughest players in the NHL, and he proved that again Saturday afternoon against the Carolina Hurricanes. He went spilling into the boards in the middle of the third period, and the awkward fall put Boychuk in a very scary position. Both legs got caught underneath him as he went crashing into the end boards.
Boychuk got up slowly and tried to skate it off before realizing something may not be right. He stopped in front of the Boston net and bent over. Shortly thereafter, he needed to be helped off the ice by a trainer and B’s center David Krejci while not putting any pressure on his right leg. From there, Boychuk went down the tunnel, presumably done for the afternoon.
Moments later, however, he returned to the bench. He eventually hopped over the boards and back into the game just a couple of minutes after a near-disaster. Unfortunately, Boychuk’s stay on the ice was short-lived, though. He then took a slap shot to, of course, his right leg. He bent over in pain, skated toward the bench and through the door. This time, though, Boychuk stayed at the bench and eventually went back into the game.
It was a crazy display of toughness that the Bruins have come to expect from Boychuk. Luckily for him and the club, he was feeling fine after the game — at least relatively speaking.
“I’m a little bit sore, but just glad everything’s OK,” he said.
Boychuk, who had X-rays done after the game, also said that he was just thankful that both of his legs weren’t broken after the initial spill. And once he got hit with the slap shot upon returning, there was only one thing he could do.
“You get back on the ice and the next shift you take a nice slap shot off your foot. It didn’t really feel that great,” he said. “After you get hit with a slap shot, it’s more laughter. You can’t really do anything but laugh. You get it out on the same side and it just hurts so bad you just have laugh at it.”
Boychuk’s toughness was appreciated by his teammates, most of which raved after the game about the D-man’s desire to return to the game. He was also rewarded by the fact that the Bruins scored two goals in a 13-second span shortly after he returned to the game (the second time).
“Yeah, he’s a warrior,” Milan Lucic said. “And he’s durable and you know he’s not afraid to get his body in front of pucks and get himself in those dirty areas to take big hits and he gives big hits, and you know like on that play he’ll block big shots to make big plays.”
Boychuk was quick to deflect any sort of credit or praise lofted his way, though.
“It’s not just me. It’s our whole persona. You wanna get back out there and do whatever it takes to win. It’s not just me, it’s the whole team.”