Borowiecki suspended one game for elbowing Vaakanainen
Mark Borowiecki might have escaped a penalty for a dangerous elbow to Urho Vaakaninen’s head Tuesday night. He didn’t fare as well pleading his case to the NHL Department of Player Safety less than 24 hours later.
On Wednesday, the league issued a one-game ban to Borowiecki — a repeat offender — for his actions. Vaakanainen later exited the game with a concussion.
The incident occurred during a scrum in front of Sens goaltender Craig Anderson in the first period of the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Senators.
“While we accept Borowiecki’s argument that he was not aiming for Vaakanainen’s head and only trying to defend his crease,” the league said in its verdict, “Borowiecki is still responsible for the fact that he delivered a blow to his head of his opponent with sufficient force to cause an injury.”
Borowiecki was on the receiving end of Brendan Gallagher’s high hit during the Senators-Canadiens contest on Saturday. The Habs forward escaped supplemental discipline from Player Safety despite serving a two-minute minor for boarding.
Here we are a few days later and, ironically enough, Borowiecki’s comments came back to haunt him.
“The principal point of impact was the base of my skull,” Borowiecki said to The Ottawa Sun. “I just don’t understand that. [Player Safety Director] George [Parros] is someone I really respect and I really respected him when he played, he’s got a hard job. You’ve got a lot of people barking at you.
“‘One of the comments in the meeting was, ‘Some guys are going to go down and some aren’t, and that factors into it’. That maybe rubbed me the wrong way a little bit. Because I’m big and strong and I can get up from a hit like that, if I put Gallagher in a position like that and I hit him, chances are it’s going to be ugly and I would wager the chances are I’m going to get games.”
Well, Borowiecki is going to sit, but the mere one-game punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Vaakanainen’s injury is the latest blow to an already banged up Bruins blue-line. Both Kevan Miller (upper-body) and Charlie McAvoy (unknown) returned home during Boston’s four-game Canadian road trip. GM Don Sweeney will likely send another defenseman up from Providence prior to Thursday’s contest with the Flyers.
The Bruins will face Borowiecki and the Sens again in Ottawa on Dec. 9.