Late in the third period, as the Bruins were coasting to a comfortable win over the Buffalo Sabres, one of the last guys the B’s want to see injured left the game after a hit from behind.
Bringing the puck down the wall, Charlie McAvoy turned, was checked by Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons, and went face first into the boards/dasher.
(Link here if you can’t see the embed above.)
McAvoy stayed down for a few moments, but he eventually skated off the ice with a towel over his face.
Presumably, McAvoy was bloodied due to his face hitting the dasher, his visor hitting his face, or both — he didn’t return (which was to be expected given the score and the time left in the game), but is expected to be OK.
Per Coach Cassidy, Charlie McAvoy “is good.” Got some stitches but “let’s hope he wakes up feeling good tomorrow and is ready to go Friday.”
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 25, 2021
Obviously the fear is a concussion any time you see a player’s head go off the boards, but stitches would be a good alternative; of course, it’s easy to say “good alternative” when you’re not the one whose face is getting stitched up, but I digress…
The Bruins have an off day tomorrow on American Thanksgiving, giving McAvoy some time to recuperate. The team will have to see how he feels Friday morning, but ideally he’s ready to go Friday afternoon.
As for the hit itself, I didn’t think it was malicious from Girgensons. A little sloppy, maybe, but McAvoy did turn at the last minute.
Cassidy even noted post-game that if the roles were reversed, he’d be telling the officials that the player put himself in a tough spot.
Given all of that, the discipline (a major penalty) was probably fair, and I wouldn’t expect anything further.