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Nasty Hit Knocks Boston Bruins Vaakanainen Out Of Win



BOSTON – The good news is that the Boston Bruins will have the NHL All-Star break to heal, but the bad news is they’re going to need it.

Urho Vaakanainen was the latest Boston Bruins player to hit the injury list after getting clobbered from behind by Yanni Gourde during the B’s 3-2 win over the Seattle Kraken at TD Garden on Tuesday night. Vaakanainen was behind the Boston net retrieving a puck when Gourde charged in seeing numbers all the way and drove the Bruins defenseman from behind into the glass above the end boards. Vaakanainen immediately went down bloodied and had to be helped off the ice to never return to the game after the reckless second period hit.

Gourde was initially called for a five-minute boarding major that was somehow downgraded to a two-minute minor after video review, a development that didn’t sit well with Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy following the game.

“Well, he got hit from behind in the numbers, his head went into the glass and the concussion spotter took him off and he never returned. So, I didn’t like the hit at all,” said Cassidy during the postgame zoom session. “For them to not make a call on it was unbelievable, to me, considering the standard they set.

“I don’t understand the standard to tonight for that not to be a call immediately and even maybe a five, never mind having to look at it just to get two. So again, hits that nobody likes in tight areas, when a guy is in a bad spot that didn’t turn into a hit, he was kind of sideways the whole time. So didn’t like it at all, didn’t like that call, but you move on and you play.”

Vaakanainen finished the night with a blocked shot and a shot attempt in 6:03 of ice time and will have the week-long All-Star break to heal up from any upper body injuries sustained. The rest of the news on the health front was pretty good as Trent Frederic and Nick Foligno had both resumed skating from their upper body injuries and appear on track for a return following the break, and Tuukka Rask should be back into the mix as well after suffering some lower body issues connected to his playing workload following summer hip surgery.


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