BOSTON – Some key Bruins players have missed a handful of games with injuries here or there already this season, but only this week did they suffer one of their first major knocks to a key player that will test their depth.
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Matt Beleskey will miss roughly six weeks with an injury to his right knee after the feisty forward was caught with a hip check by Tyler Fedun near center ice in Buffalo over the weekend. Beleskey tried to instinctively sidestep the oncoming attack, but instead his lower half caught the brunt of the big collision from the young Sabres attacker. Fedun nailed Beleskey’s right leg with his hip check, and the gritty Bruins winger had to limp back to the bench before leaving the game prior to the end of the first period. He met with doctors on Monday in what was a clear indication that he was out long term rather than short term, and that news was confirmed right after Monday night’s 4-3 OT win over the Panthers. Beleskey was spotted walking with a bit of a limp on Monday night, and armed with what looked to be a giant brace or cast on his right leg underneath his suit pants. It’s clearly a bummer for Beleskey that he’ll now miss a large chunk of time due to an open ice hip check you don’t see very often in today’s NHL, and the Bruins have to be disappointed at the timing of it all given how much better Beleskey has been playing lately. The injury certainly opens up the third line left wing spot for a player like Ryan Spooner, who has struggled to find his right place on this year’s Bruins team, or a player like Frankie Vatrano as he gets over the hump in the next couple of weeks in his recovery from foot surgery.Beleskey had been remarkably health in Boston during his first two years here prior to the knee issue, and had produced two goals and three assists for five points with 23 penalty minutes in his style of creating bedlam on the ice with high-energy, physical play after a slow start to the season.