WILMINGTON – The Bruins should know more about the status of Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk by this weekend after he underwent an MRI to determine the extent of injury to his lower back. Claude Julien confirmed to reporters following a Friday afternoon practice that Boychuk had injured the lower back after a scary boarding incident with Max Pacioretty in Thursday night’s 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Boychuk flew home with the team following a brief stay in a Montreal hospital on Thursday night, and it appeared the durable defenseman missed a major injury after an awkward face-first crash into the boards.
He would clearly be ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and has already missed a game this season after wrenching his back in the Oct. 31 game against the Anaheim Ducks following a separate crash into the boards.
“You never like to see a stretcher come out,’’ said Julien. “But I got some information on the bench that his back was locked up and they thought it was part of that. We don’t know yet. You’ve got to be very cautious making any comments because you never know when it comes to backs.
“It’s an unfortunate injury, but at the same time, if we’re going to start complaining about every little thing, you might as well take the hitting out of our game. I think more it was the awkwardness of how he went into the boards.”
With Boychuk and Adam McQuaid both missing practice on Friday, it also appears that Kevan Miller will be back in the lineup along with Matt Bartkowski for Saturday night’s Eastern Conference showdown with the Penguins.