Boychuk enjoys successful return to lineup

Boychuk enjoys successful return to lineup
March 3, 2012, 10:11 pm
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BOSTON -- The story of Saturday's 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders was injury related. Tuukka Rask and Daniel Paille were added to the team's injury list.

Already on it were Andrew Ference (lower body), Rich Peverley (knee), and Nathan Horton (concussion).

But if there was a positive injury-related note on Saturday, or any positive note at all, it was that defenseman Johnny Boychuk returned from a mild concussion, and felt fine after playing over 20 minutes.

"It felt pretty good, just to get back into the groove of things," said Boychuk after the loss. "To just get out there and do the simple things."

Boychuk had three shots on goal and recorded four hits in the loss. He said afterwards that getting back out there after missing two games "felt normal", and that throwing a couple early hits gave him the confidence to know that his head was going to be just fine.

"They told me if I felt any symptoms at all, then to get off," said Boychuk. "And if I had to sit out another week, it would be fine, because we have enough guys to fill in.

"But no symptoms at all after warm ups. And after the first period, same thing, no symptoms the whole game."

Boychuk looked and sounded completely normal following his return from that concussion, which has to be great news for the Bruins defenseman who's paired with captain Zdeno Chara every game, going up against each and every opponent's top line.

Sure, additions like Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau have added depth to the position. But especially since it now looks like Tim Thomas may have to carry all of the goaltending load for the remainder of the season, the Bruins will be needing more than just depth on the blue line. They're going to need their best defensemen in the lineup.

"The most important thing is the fact that it wasn't a long-term thing," said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Saturday. "He felt good before the game. He felt good during the game. As far as I know, there haven't been any issues at all. So, hopefully that's the way it's going to continue."