Matt Grzelcyk went to the hospital for further testing after taking a hit from behind from Oscar Sundqvist. The Blues’ fourth line center only received a two minute minor for his actions late in the first period of Game 2.
Unlike Wednesday, Sundqvist wasn’t as fortunate following his hearing with the NHL Player Safety Department on Thursday. The Swedish forward earned a one-game ban for his hit from behind on Grzelcyk. He’ll sit for Game 3 Saturday night as the series shifts to St. Louis.
“It is important to note that the boarding rule places the onus to deliver a legal check on the hitter,” the league said in its video statement. “Therefore, while we acknowledge that Grzelcyk does adjust his body position in making a play on the puck, he does not do so in a way that absolves Sundqvist of responsibility for the nature of this hit.”
Grzelcyk left the hospital after initial tests and entered concussion protocol. He didn’t travel with his teammates to St. Louis on Thursday. Head coach Bruce Cassidy said the former Boston University captain as day to day.
Cassidy also said that he’ll insert either John Moore or Steven Kampfer in Grzelcyk’s place — assuming he misses Game 3 — with Connor Clifton on Boston’s third defensive pairing. Moore last appeared during Game 4 of the Carolina series in place of an injured Zdeno Chara. Kampfer, meanwhile, netted his first career postseason tally against the Hurricanes in place of Charlie McAvoy in Game 1.
Blues coach Craig Berube entered next man up mode with Vince Dunn’s injury to begin the series. It continued in Game 2 with Robby Fabbri replaced Robert Thomas (undisclosed injury). He’ll have an important lineup decision ahead for Game 3 — depending on Thomas’ availability — following Sundqvist’s one-game ban.
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