Boychuk exits Pens loss with suspected knee injury

Boychuk exits Pens loss with suspected knee injury
April 4, 2012, 5:23 am
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The Bruins were hoping and praying they could simply stay healthy until the playoffs got going, but that might not be possible now.

The Bs are hopeful, but a potentially damaging injury appeared to take place in the third period of Tuesday nights 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins when Johnny Boychuks left knee buckled after throwing a hit on Pens grinder Arron Asham. It looked like a simple, clean hit like so many that the rugged Boychuk has thrown in the past, but this team his knee moved while his skate didnt while planted firmly on the ice.

The notoriously tough Boychuk went down in a heap, and had to be assisted off the ice by Chris Kelly and Brian Rolston while putting little weight on the left leg. He walked out of the TD Garden without the aid of crutches, but it appeared that Boychuk was walking with a significant limp as he navigated his way down the hall.

When asked if he was okay he simply said he was fine. When asked if hed be at practice on Wednesday he flashed his trademark grin and said maybe.

While it certainly looked like it could be an MCL or ACL issue in his left knee, Claude Julien remained hopeful that the Bruins had dodged another injury bullet while noting that Boychuk didnt appear to be in too much discomfort.

With those kinds of injuries, youve got to kind of let the night go by and the next day you get a better idea, said Claude Julien. Were keeping our fingers crossed right now that its not bad news, so thats all we can hope for right now.

He got hit on the side of the leg. It could be a variety of things in that area, but he didnt feel too bad. Thats why I said when youre still warmed up you dont feel it as much as the next day. The next day you get a better idea. So were going to re-evaluate him tomorrow and then probably get a clear idea of what his situation is.

A serious knee injury knocking Boychuk out for 4-6 weeks would be a major blow to Bostons postseason hopes, and would seriously compromise their plans along the blueline. It could force the Bruins to play Joe Corvo regularly in the postseason lineup when it appeared that things were trending toward the embattled defenseman starting the playoffs as a healthy scratch.

But more than anything else the Bruins would simply miss their No. 3 defenseman capable of big goals, heavy hits and playing 20-plus minutes a night in the playoffs when things start getting rough.