Bruins center Austin Czarnik was knocked out of Saturday’s preseason finale for the Bruins following a late, high hit from Flyers hatchet man Radko Gudas. The rookie has suffered a concussion, according to a tweet from New England Hockey Journal’s Kirk Luedeke.
The timetable put forth was 7-10 days for the 5-foot-8, 167-pound Czarnik to return to full health for the Bruins, and that could certainly be the case if it’s a mild concussion. The truth of the matter with concussions, however, is that there’s no real clear recovery picture for concussions until a player has been symptom free for multiple days. So it’s realistic the 23-year-old rookie will miss the three-game road trip to kick off Boston’s regular season, and could potentially give another young B’s forward an extended look at the start of the season.
The injury is a crying shame for Czarnik, who had a couple of goals in the preseason and appeared to have the third line center spot all wrapped up at the end of camp. The emerence of a speedy young guy like Czarnik also gives the B’s a chance to load up on their top-6 forwards with both Ryan Spooner and David Backes on the wing.
Gudas, on the other hand, is due for a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety following the cheap, late interference hit on Czarnik, and could be facing a significant suspension of five games or more as a repeat offender. Gudas actually got off without punishment just a few days ago when he smoked an unsuspecting Jimmy Vesey with a booming hit. He won’t get away with it this time after throwing a late, high shoulder to Czarnik’s jaw in the third period of Saturday night’s game. Czarnik never returned to the game on Saturday night, obviously, and will have to keep on waiting for his first career NHL game after being the unwitting victim of a nasty check to the head.