Blues’ Sundqvist to face hearing after boarding Bruins’ Grzelcyk


(UPDATE: Sundqvist has been suspended for Game 3.)

Oskar Sundqvist may have only received a minor penalty for a crushing hit from behind that forced Matt Grzelcyk from Game 2, but he’ll now have to answer to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Sundqvist’s first-period transgression has earned him a hearing on Thursday with George Parros and Co.

You can watch the video above, but essentially Sundqvist caught Grzelcyk from behind, and what appeared to be in the head, behind the Boston net late in the opening frame. The debate will rage over the awkwardness of the hit and whether Sundqvist could have done much when Grzelcyk appeared to move right before the check occurred.

Grzelcyk didn’t return to the game as the Bruins played the final two periods and overtime with five defensemen. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Grzelcyk was taken to hospital to get further tests and that he was still waiting for an update regarding his defenseman.

Sundqvist no-commented on the play following the game.

Other’s didn’t hold back.

Bruins forward and former Blues captain made no bones about what he thought the hit deserved after the game.

“I don’t think that’s a hit we want in our game,” Backes said. “It’s from behind, elevated, into his head, into the glass. If that’s a two-minute penalty, I think there’s going to be a shortage of defensemen in this series by the end of it.

“That’s in somebody else’s hands. That’s something I think if I’m making that hit, I’m probably watching from the bleachers for a few, but we’ll see what happens with their player.”

Cassidy lamented the loss of Grzelcyk.

“Losing the 16 minutes of [Grzelcyk’s] time, good puck mover, guy that can break down a forecheck when he’s on, that was clearly a strength of theirs tonight and a weakness of ours, breaking the pucks out,” Cassidy said. “That’s where we missed him the most, I felt like. Getting back on pucks. He’s pretty good at a quick-escape move, a pretty clean pass, get our forwards moving through the neutral zone, which is a strength of our game. We lost some of that element and I think it showed.”

The Bruins could turn to John Moore, who came in for Zdeno Chara in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, or Steven Kampfer. Cassidy said he’s not worried about replacements if they do have to come in.

“They’ve played in the playoffs, helped us win games,” he said.

Blues-Bruins Game 3 is Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET from Enterprise Center on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck