BOSTON – Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was knocked out of Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals thanks to a vicious hit from behind by Washington’s Zach Sill, which is now being reviewed by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
The incident took place in the middle of the second period, and went without any kind of penalty call on the ice against Sill.
“They didn’t, I guess, seem to get a good look at it, or just seemed to think it was maybe two minutes at best,” said Claude Julien. “I had the luxury of going back to my office and looking at the replay. Obviously, for me, there should have been a call there.
“But you know we’ll see how the league deems it. It was definitely a hit from behind in my book, but we’ll let the other people take care of it as always.”
McQuaid was clobbered by the Capitals' gritty forward as he was facing the boards, and it appeared the rugged 6-foot-5 D-man was knocked out on his skates after the side of his head slammed against the glass above the boards. McQuaid finally left the ice under his own power assisted by the Bruins medical staff, but was done for the night at that point after just 10 shifts and 8:49 of ice time.
Patrice Bergeron grabbed Sill immediately after the hit, but that was the extent of the response from the Bruins at the end of a long shift on the ice. Torey Krug said somebody would have gone after Sill beyond the Bergeron grab had the circumstances been a little different.
“He’s a punishing force himself so to see when a guy like that goes into the boards, a guy that, you know, really plays for the team and sticks up for his teammates and everything he does is just so unselfish…to see him go down is tough,” said Krug. “You know, you want to respond for a guy like that. It’s just tough to see happen.
“Personally I think we didn’t have the personnel out there [to respond with a fight]. I mean, Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] went over and let the guy know he didn’t like the hit. I was out there for, you know, a whole shift. You don’t want to go fight a guy at the end of a two-minute shift, but it still happens. If I got hit, Quaider’s going to go over there and let the guy know he didn’t like it. So one of our star players is going over there and telling the guy he didn’t like the hit. He’s not going to drop his gloves, but, you know, if someone else is out there he’s going to let him know.”
To Krug’s point, both Tyler Randell and Zac Rinaldo tried to get Sill to drop the gloves and atone for his earlier actions on the ice, but instead the Capitals forward retreated to the bench.
After the game Barry Trotz called it “a hockey play” while Bergeron voiced his displeasure with a hit that knocked out one of Boston’s stalwart D-men.
“I thought it was a bad hit. It was one of those where it happens fast. From my angle, I guess, it was a bad hit, you know,” said Bergeron. “There was no point, no need for hitting him like that. It’s definitely tough to see Adam [McQuaid] go down as hard as he did.”
There was no further update on McQuaid following the Tuesday night loss to the Capitals.
The belief here is that the NHL Department of Player Safety is going to hit Sill with supplemental discipline based on his reckless action of completely finishing the dangerous hit on a vulnerable opponent, and causing a play with an apparent head injury as well. That’s exactly the kind of play that will get a player into a hearing with the league, and get them swept up into the fine and suspension system to deter such plays.