BOSTON – There was no sanction Sunday and few ripples surrounding the big hit by Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk that rocked Chicago captain Jonathan Toews in front of goal in Game 5.
“There wasn't a penalty on the play, and it was one of those hits in a tight area in front of the net,” said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. “You can be vulnerable in that area, a big hit. The first part of contact you could talk about, but I'm not going to go there.”
Boston coach Claude Julien was even pithier.
“The same as the league. I think they said it was clean, wasn't it? Then I agree with them. I'm not going to hide from that. If it wasn't a clean hit, I'd have been a guy that supported those kind of things that we need to get out of the game. But it was a clean hit.”
Nathan Horton's future with the Bruins is unclear but the forward who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer isn't thinking beyond Game 6.
Asked if the game might be his last in a Boston uniform, Horton replied: “No, not at all. I'm not thinking about that. I'm just thinking about winning the game, and that's it.”
The Bruins winger has undoubtedly helped his contract cause. The 28-year-old has seven goals and 12 assists in the playoffs despite playing with what is believed to be a sore shoulder.
At US$73.16 million, Boston's payroll ranked eighth in the league this season. Horton accounted for $5.5 million of that.
Notes—Defencemen have scored 17 of Boston's 63 goals this post-season (27.0 per cent), the most among all playoff clubs … Chicago goalie Corey Crawford is 11-2 with a 1.54 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in 13 starts at the United Center this post-season. On the road, he has a 4-5 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in nine games.