Canucks' Mason Raymond suffers vertebrae compression fracture; no suspension for Bruins' Johnny Boychuk
Greetings from Vancouver, where there’s lots of buzz about the Canucks and lots of car flags flying in advance of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, to be played Wednesday at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks, vying for their first-ever Cup championship, won’t have winger Mason Raymond in their lineup for Game 7. Mike Gillis, the Canucks’ general manager, announced Tuesday that Raymond had sustained a vertebrae compression fracture Monday and is expected to be out for three to four months.
The injury occurred 20 seconds into Game 6. Raymond, bent over at the waist and with his back to the boards, was shoved into the boards by Boston’s Johnny Boychuk. The players became entangled and Raymond was slow to get up, needing help to leave the ice. He was taken to a Boston hospital for treatment.
There was no penalty called on the play and the NHL will not impose a fine or suspension.
“We felt it was a battle for the puck,” said Mike Murphy, the league’s senior vice president of hockey operations, in an email.
“Boychuk tried to eliminate Raymond by pushing him towards the boards as the puck went by. Raymond was in a very awkward position with his body in an L position. Boychuk pushed him [backside]-first into the boards, his head and neck area getting wrenched.”
Tough call there. In suspending Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome a Cup-finals-record four games for a late hit that left Boston’s Nathan Horton with a concussion, the NHL said it took the severity of the injury into account. Boychuk’s hit could have been interference or boarding, though the league undoubtedly was hesitant to add a suspension that would keep him out of Game 7.
A few Game 7 stats to chew on:
The Bruins can become the first team to win three Game 7s in one playoff year.
Wednesday’s game will be the 16th Game 7 in a Stanley Cup
final. The home team won 12 of the previous games.
The Canucks lost their only previous Game 7 finals appearance, to the New York Rangers in 1994, but the Bruins have never played a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final.
Check back later for more at www.latimes.com/sports
--Helene Elliott, in Vancouver, Canada
Photo: Vancouver Canucks left wing Mason Raymond lays on the ice after being hit into the boards by Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk during the first period in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. Credit: Adam Hunger / Reuters.