Boychuk, McQuaid make long road trip with Bruins

Boychuk, McQuaid make long road trip with Bruins
December 7, 2013, 12:15 pm
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(AP Photo)

The Bruins will be fully intact when they take off four a long, four game road romp through Canada following Saturday night’s home tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Injured defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid will both be traveling with the team to Toronto and Western Canada over the next week plus, and both are expected to make quick recoveries from their injuries.

This is amazing news for Boychuk, who was diagnosed with a sprained back that should keep him out for 3-7 days after crashing face-first into the Bell Centre boards following a hit from Max Pacioretty. He was having difficulty breathing and moving when his back locked up on him as he stood on all fours on the ice, and had to be transported to an area hospital after getting wheeled off the ice via ambulance.

Knowing in hindsight Boychuk dealt with lower back issues and spasms already this season that caused him to miss a road game against the New York Islanders, some of the scary symptoms on the ice made sense after such a violently awkward crash into the end boards.

It was still nothing short of amazing when Matt Bartkowski told CSNNE.com that he was Boychuk working away on the exercise bike on Saturday morning less than 48 hours after taking the scary hit.

“I figured that he must be okay after I saw that,” said Bartkowski. “He was even joking around about on the bus right after the game in Montreal, but that’s just who Johnny is. I thought it was the pain meds, but I was wrong. That was just Johnny being Johnny.”

Either that or he must be like another mutant from Alberta that people more commonly know as The Wolverine.

Claude Julien said that the B’s defenseman is out for the weekend games against the Penguins and Maple Leafs, but that they’ll reassess things with Boychuk next week as the 3-7 day timetable comes into play.

“Johnny is doing better, and I think we dodged a pretty big bullet there personally,” said Claude Julien. “Those kinds of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst and I think we got as good a [bit of] news as we possibly could have gotten. When he was down on the ice, he couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t move either.

“The MRI found no fractures. A lot of is based on him locking up when he went into the boards with muscle spasms and everything else. We hope it will be a quicker recovery…a sooner than later kind of thing. He’s still stiff, but the hope is that the stiffness and the spasms will go away quickly.”

As for McQuaid, he re-aggravated his groin this week and is also back working out on his own. He’ll travel with the B’s on the four game road trip, and Julien expects the stay-at-home defenseman should be able to get back on the ice at the beginning of next week.

So Kevan Miller will be in the lineup at least through the weekend for the Bruins, and the team will be reassessing before their trip through Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver next week.