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Boucher Fine After Taking Puck to Head

Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 2:12 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Boucher Fine After Taking Puck to Head

It all happened in the blink of an eye.

Michael Smith
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Late in the second period last night, an errant clearing attempt turned into a dangerous situation for the Canes’ bench as back-up goaltender Brian Boucher was hit in the head with the puck.

Boucher clutched a towel to his head as he scooted off to the Canes’ locker room. He didn’t reappear on the bench for the third period and was listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game in Ottawa.

Good news came this morning when Boucher practiced with the team and displayed no ill effects of what happened last night.

“I never saw it,” he said. “I’ve gotten hit with a stick before, but never a puck. It hit me flush in the temple.”

Luckily for Boucher, the puck didn’t cause a cut or require stitches; instead, it left him seeing stars and quite the headache last night. This morning he sported a bump where the puck caught him.

“I took quite a bit of Advil,” he said. “When I left here, it was hurting pretty good. When I got up this morning, it was just the pressure. But other than that, the throbbing had gone away.”

On the ice today for practice, Boucher said he felt fine. Head coach Paul Maurice had a quick chat with him as he stretched, and Boucher will fly to Ottawa with the team. Though he won’t start in net, his services will be available if needed.

“No issues [today],” Boucher said. “Last night was the worst of it.”

“It was all a matter of, once they knew there wasn’t an injury there, could he gets his mask over the swelling,” Maurice said. “It was in a place that it didn’t affect him. So everybody had a good laugh about it and gave him a hard time.”

Boucher’s absence in the third period raised a question – if Cam Ward had gotten hurt, who would have played goal? Boucher said it wouldn’t have been him.

“My gear was on, but I think we would have had to determine who was in worse shape if Cam got hurt,” he said. “I’d argue that I was hurting more.”

Maurice wasn’t sure, either.

“We do not have a third guy, believe it or not,” he said. “Now, the NHL is a little different from the physical safety, but it happened to me in junior. I think it was an exhibition game, and I had 8 guys that wanted to go in.

“I bet you almost every one of these guys, at some point, played goal. I don’t know if they’d do it for the whole year, but back when you rotated, there are always the guys that loved to play goal.”

Perhaps luckily for the Canes, they didn’t have to find out who that third guy would be. Having Boucher healthy also keeps the Charlotte Checkers’ goaltending tandem of Mike Murphy and Justin Peters in tact for their back-to-back set with the Milwaukee Admirals this weekend.

Tomorrow night in Ottawa, Boucher will be on the bench once more. Though he might not be wearing a mask, it’s guaranteed he’ll be on guard.

“Got to pay attention,” he said. “I’m usually pretty good at putting my arms up, but this time I didn’t see it.”

ROSTER NOTES

Joni Pitkanen did not skate today, but he remains probable for tomorrow night’s game in Ottawa. Maurice said that Pitkanen was battling flu-like symptoms. Keeping him off the ice today will allow him to be more hydrated for tomorrow. The plan is to have him skate in the morning to see how he feels. The rest of the team will not skate due to the 5:00 start time.

Jay Harrison did not make the trip to Ottawa. He’s nursing an upper-body injury.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81