Boychuk fine after turning himself into 'human shish kabob'

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Boychuk fine after turning himself into 'human shish kabob'

BOSTON -- Johnny Boychuk suffered a freak accident in the first period that led to a goal scored against his team and a close call with injury.

Boychuk and Carolina forward Tuomo Ruutu were speeding into the corner for a loose puck and Boychuks stick got wedged into the space between the boards as his 6-foot-2, 220-pound body went crashing into the stuck stick. It stabbed Boychuk just below his sternum and knocked the wind out of the tough-as-nails blueliner.

Zdeno Chara and the rest of Boychuks teammates on the ice basically stopped playing when the affable defenseman dropped to his hands and knees on the ice. Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes took advantage with a quick goal scored against Tuukka Rask, and the Canes were off and running in a 3-0 win at TD Garden.

Boychuk said he was fine after the game and he did return for the final two periods after leaving the ice early in the first 20 minutes. He will be keeping a watch out for any issues overnight, as a stick butt-ended into the stomachchest area could cause internal bleeding.

Beef teriyaki on the stick or a corn dog skewer were the first couple of things that came to mind with Boychuks plight in the first period, but the Bs defenseman had another delight-on-a-stick in mind when he butt-ended himself.

No, it went in between the boards and I basically made myself into a shish kabob. It didnt feel very good at all, said Boychuk. Yeah, its just one of those things where it goes right up under your sternum and you cant breathe. It took me awhile to catch my breath, but in the second and third it was fine.

Either way, it takes something blindingly painful to force Boychuk off the ice like it did in the first period, but he returned and tied with several other Bruins for a team-high four registered hits against Carolina. Boychuk returned to the game to set yet another example of his toughness and dedication, but there werent enough players going with that kind of fierce one-way dedication.

Dont get me wrong, they are a hard working team, a good team and they capitalized on their chances but we havent played our best when we have played against them, said Boychuk. I think thats the biggest reason that they won because we didnt play our game and they played theirs and capitalized when they had the opportunities.

Boychuk finished with a pair of shots and four hits in his 17:53 of ice time against the Hurricanes, and one giant stroke of good fortune remaining healthy.

Bruce Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity' in times of adversity

Bruce Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity' in times of adversity

BOSTON – While there were some warning signs over the last few weeks that the Bruins might be getting away from their game, it didn’t really hit home until Thursday night’s frustrating loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The Bruins blew through three different one-goal leads in the second period in the 6-3 loss to the Bolts at TD Garden, and each time surrendered a tying goal to Tampa in less than two minutes after initially scoring. It was a clear indicator that the Bruins weren’t fully focused on the task at hand despite having already lost three games in a row, and that their ability to bounce back from adversity is going away from them again. 

That much was obvious when the bottom dropped out in the third period, and Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov turned into a two-man Lightning wrecking crew outscoring the Bruins by a 3-0 margin in the final 20 minutes. 

“I think the frustration is more in-game, where we’ve got to have a stronger mental capacity to handle those [challenging] situations in-game. Let’s face it, when you get on a bit of a losing streak, all those things creep in, whether it’s in October or whether it’s in March,” said Bruce Cassidy. “You have doubts, you start pressing, and again, it’s my job to alleviate the kind of attention in those situations.

“But, as I told you, we all have to be accountable and be responsible for ourselves, and that’s where we just need to have better focus and better discipline in those areas. It was there when it was 3-3 [on the scoreboard]. We’ve got to push back after they score, and that’s where I thought we started to come apart a little bit where we should’ve stuck together and stuck with the program. [We needed to] get ourselves slowly back into the game. We had 10 minutes to even the score, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Clearly this wasn’t just the coach alone in his pointed observations, however, as the lack of focus showed unfortunately in a rudderless second period for the Black and Gold where they couldn’t gain any separation from Tampa Bay despite scoring three goals. 

“[It’s] not being focused, not being sharp, and obviously at this time of the year it’s unacceptable, and it’s up on us to be better,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “Those kinds of situations shouldn’t happen. So, for sure, we need to address those things and hold each other accountable.”

One thing is clear: The Bruins have a lot of work to do if they hope to avoid the same kind of late season tailspin that doomed them each of the last two seasons, and already seems to be happening over their last four losses to varying levels of hockey talent. 

Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

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Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.