For the first time since the two valuable skaters suffered from injuries, David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk participated in the Boston Bruins’ game day skate, according to James Murphy of ESPN Boston.
Krejci is fighting off a minor concussion he’s been dealing with since playing against the St. Louis Blues last Saturday. Boychuk broke his forearm during the team’s October 23 game against the New York Rangers.
Marco Sturm reportedly joined them during the morning skate, but gradually improving center Marc Savard did not participate.
I’m not certain if there is any clear return date for Krejci – concussions are still as mysterious as ever – but Murphy reports that Boychuk could return to game action as soon as next weekend. They obviously weren’t able to play in tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators, but there’s at least some reason for optimism regarding Boston’s injury riddled roster.
That doesn’t mean that the Bruins are assuming that either one will avoid setbacks along the way.
Bruins coach Claude Julien was pleased with the progress of Boychuk and Krejci, but he and the Bruins won’t get ahead of themselves.
“Both are progressing well,” Julien said after the skate. “David started his exertion test yesterday, as we mentioned. He got on the bike and felt good enough to get on the ice and skate a little bit today. I guess that result we’ll get later on, and as the day progresses we’ll know whether he feels good enough and see tomorrow. So those are things that he’s going through, and so far everything is going in the right direction with him.
“Johnny is the same thing. He started skating with us today, getting some shots, so he’s progressing well. I guess these next few days will determine how close he is to starting to play again.”
We’ll keep you updated about their injury statuses, but if you ask Boychuk, he sounds like he’s getting much closer to being ready. Here’s some of his comments via ESPN.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.