The Bruins were already dealing with the stressful situation of playoff hockey inside the bubble and being isolated from friends and family, and Chris Wagner had a pretty alarming situation that knocked him out of the playoffs within that setting.
The Bruins fourth-line winger was pulled from Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and had to sit out Game 5 after developing an irregular heartbeat during the second period of the loss to the Bolts last weekend. The situation forced Wagner to go to a hospital in Toronto and he sat out Monday’s decisive Game 5 while serving in quarantine after leaving the NHL bubble to get checked out.
“I kind of noticed it the second period of Game 4 that my heart rate was pounding. I’m usually pretty good about recovering on the bench, so I knew something was up,” said Wagner, who said his heartbeat went back to normal shortly after arriving at the hospital. “I played through the second period with the racing heartbeat and then got some tests done between the second and third period.
“We ended up figuring out that, long story short, I had A-fib and went into an irregular heartbeat, which I had never had before. I had to go to the hospital and left the bubble, and once you leave the bubble you’re quarantined for four days. I was in quarantine for Game 5.”
Wagner said he will have more heart tests in the next week to get everything fully checked out, but he assumes that everything is going to be okay despite a scary situation during the playoff game. The hope is that it’s a one-time incidence rather than a sign of any issue with the B’s energy forward.
“At this moment, we don’t think there’s any long-term effects. We’re getting some more tests done next week, but it’s pretty common with athletes,” said Wagner. “It could be a one-time thing as well. It’s probably the best heart problem to have, I guess.”
Clearly the Bruins and Wagner hope it’s a one-time thing after a solid season with six goals and 10 points in 67 games, a couple of goals in the playoffs and a three-year, $4.05 million contract extension that he signed during this season.