March 30, 2012

'Reckless' hit by Chimera leaves McQuaid 'not feeling right'

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON -- With a little more than six minutes remaining in the first period of Thursday’s battle between the Bruins and Capitals, Jason Chimera hopped over the boards for his fourth shift of the contest. 

From center ice until the moment he reached the end of Boston’s defensive zone, the gritty forward was in full acceleration mode. Making a beeline to the back of the B’s net, Chimera took roughly a dozen strides before an explosive collision suddenly silenced the crowd on hand at TD Garden.

At full-speed, Chimera slammed Bruins’ defenseman Adam McQuaid, leaving him down and out near the end-boards. Patrice Bergeron and the rest of the Bruins who were out on the ice quickly circled around Chimera before the 32-year-old winger was given a five-minute major for charging and tossed from the contest.

With the help of defensive partner Greg Zanon and trainer Don DelNegro, McQuaid made his way to the B’s bench, holding his face before disappearing down the runway. No. 54 was done for the evening.

“He suffered a cut over the eyebrow, and, you know, he wasn’t feeling quite right, and the doctors didn’t want to take a chance of sending him back,” coach Claude Julien said. “So we’ll probably learn more the following day, find out a little more about it. But for the obvious reasons that medical staff deals with those kind of things, the minute you don’t feel right, they pull you out, so hopefully we’ll get good news tomorrow, but we’ll find out later.”

Julien was firm in stating he didn’t think the hit was predatory, but certainly though Chimera’s actions as a whole were dangerous.

“When it happens to you, you also have to be honest about it,” the coach said. “He came off the bench, and he was going hard, and maybe it was a little bit reckless, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t intentional.

“‘Mac’ just turned at the last second and put himself in a bit of vulnerable position, but still, I agree with the referee’s call. It was a bit of a reckless hit, and it deserved probably a five when you look back at the replay, and they had to make that decision. It was a tough one, but certainly wasn’t intent to injure by the player, in my mind.”

In October, McQuaid crashed awkwardly into the boards after trying to check one of the Hurricanes during a game down in Carolina – a play eerily similar to one that happened in Game 2 of last year’s second round series against Philly when No. 54 missed Mike Richards and injured his neck.

The Bruins treated McQuaid’s injury in October as a concussion, though that diagnosis was never made official. With talk of the 25-year-old rearguard “not feeling right” after being blasted by Chimera on Thursday, the B’s undoubtedly hope that McQuaid isn’t going through the same set of circumstances, as the playoffs are set to begin in less than two weeks.

Here's video of the hit: