Matt Grzelcyk might not be a doctor, but it didn’t take a PhD for the Charlestown native to recognize that something felt very, very wrong on Saturday night at Barclays Center.
When Derick Brassard’s stick struck Grzelcyk in the back of the leg, the Bruins defenseman immediately dropped to one leg. The slash from the Islanders’ pivot connected on an unprotected area of Grzelcyk’s gear, but as he limped towards Boston’s bench, he chalked it up as a “stinger” — one that could be corrected after some work from the medical staff.
But the pain didn’t subside, nor could Grzlecyk do much to at least grit through the rest of the game. After just two shifts and 1:27 of ice time, his night was done.
"Just an awkward spot in my leg, so I really didn't have much mobility, tried it out in between periods and wasn't able to put much weight on it,” Grzelcyk said on Sunday, adding: “Kind of weird, thought it was gonna be one of those stingers, but didn't really go away for a while. Couldn't really move out there, so there wasn't much I was gonna be able to bring to the table.”
Boston’s fellow youngsters on the blue line in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo held down the fort in what was an eventual 3-2 overtime win over the Islanders, but as Grzelcyk went in for X-rays, a B’s blue line in need of his puck-moving services held its collective breath.
Thankfully for the Bruins, it appears as though Grzelcyk will not have to spend an extended stretch on the shelf, as the defenseman was back on the ice Sunday afternoon during an optional skate at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
Grzelcyk, who was cleared for Monday’s matchup against the Flyers, would be the first to tell you that he dodged a bullet.
“Felt a lot better than expected this morning, so it was nice to get out there and test it,” Grzelcyk said following practice.
He might primarily function as a third-pairing option on Boston’s D corps, but losing Grzelcyk for an extended stretch could have been a tough pill for the Bruins to swallow.