Down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Final after Saturday night's Game 5 loss, the Boston Bruins got some much-needed good news on Sunday: per Darren Dreger, Johnny Boychuk will not be suspended for his hit on Jonathan Toews.
The hit, which saw Boychuk level Toews in front of the Boston goal, catching the Chicago captain's head with his forearm and knocking Toews out of the game for the third period, drew strong reaction from many in the hockey community.
Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune felt a suspension was a must.
But Boychuk will be available for Game 6, as the Department of Player Safety deemed it a good hit.
It's not entirely surprising, if head hits going unpunished no longer surprises you. (Plus, hey, Boychuk has hurt guys way worse in a Stanley Cup Final.)
Speaking of injury, probably the largest mitigating factor for Boychuk is that the Blackhawks have not announced that Toews has one -- although they won't know, and definitely won't announce what they know, until closer to game time.
Chicago isn't the only club wondering on the status of their best two-way centre, however. As nice as it will be to have Boychuk in the lineup as the Bruins attempted to force a Game 7, his availability isn't quite as important as Patrice Bergeron's.
The Bruins' centre left Game 5 for the hospital with a mystery injury, believed to be something to do with his back, or maybe his spleen, or maybe, as Don Cherry suggested, a torn rib muscle:
No one has a clue, is what I'm saying. Bob McKenzie made that perfectly clear.
Much intrigue/deception on injuries in playoffs so take this FWIW on what I'm told on Bergeron: No one has correctly guessed body part yet.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 23, 2013
A tweet like that leaves us all wondering two things: 1) What could it be then, and 2) What do you win if you guess it?
The Bruins are prepared to play without him, but there is still hope that Bergeron might be able to go. Per the Bruins, he's out of the hospital and on his way to Boston:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli issued the following update today, June 23, on forward Patrice Bergeron: Patrice was discharged from the hospital Saturday night and will be flying home with the team this morning.
If Toews, Bergeron or both can't play in Game 6, it's safe to say that changes the dynamic of the game considerably. My guess: both will play, and not because they're well enough to, but because the Cup will be in the building.