The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins last night to take a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup. But their leader Jonathan Toews took a vicious hit in front of the net from Bruins defender Johnny Boychuk in the second period that forced him to sit out the entire third period.
Toews however was able to congratulate teammates after the victory and was even the last Blackhawks player off the ice. But now teammates and Blackhawks fan worry about their ability to close out the series in Boston without the services of their captain.
“We’re hopeful he’ll be ready next game,” said coach Joel Quenneville, via the Chicago Tribune.
Coach Quenneville described the injury as “upper body.” The hit to me looks legal, though Boychuk’s hands get high it isn’t clear that he makes contact initially with the head. It looks like he hits the shoulders and his momentum carries his hands up to the head afterwards.
But according to the Tribune: “An NHL source said the league is “definitely looking” at Boychuk’s hit on Toews.”
Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks said this is nothing new, and that players have to be ready for Boychuk’s hits.
“I played against him all series and he has done that to me every shift,” Sharp said. “He’s a clean player, he hits hard, you know he’s coming and he’s going to finish all his checks. He’s hitting everybody. But you have to give it to him, he’s hitting guys clean.”
When asked if Toews suffered a concussion, Quenneville avoided answering the question.