Canucks' Boudreau says Kuznetsov embellished game-changing penalty

Mar 12 2022, 4:53 pm

Bruce Boudreau isn’t shy to call it as he sees it.Ā 

So when the Vancouver Canucks coach was asked whether or not Tyler Myers’ game-changing hit to the head of Washington Capitals forward Evgeni Kuznetsov midway through the third period was just a result of the 6-foot-8 defenceman being too tall, Boudreau didn’t shy away from his opinion.Ā 

ā€œHeā€™s just a big guy,” started Boudreau, whose blueliner was given a hit-to-the-head minor on the play.

“And I would have to say if you know Kuznetsov there was a bit of embellishment there by staying down on the ice but he couldn’t wait to get back on the power play. It wasn’t like he was hurt. Tyler was big. It wasn’t like he skated into him. He sort of glided into him. He’s a big man. Sometimes it doesn’t help.”

The penalty was a momentum killer and tide-turner for the Canucks, who had erased a 2-0 deficit with three quick-strike goals, coming in a span of 4:02 early in the third period, to jump out to a lead.Ā 

Kuznetsov, naturally, scored with Myers in the box to force overtime, and Lars Eller won it for Washington 42 seconds into the extra frame.Ā 

Boudreau was also asked postgame if a concussion spotter should’ve been involved given the nature of the penalty. Each game features two independent spotters looking for visible signs of head injury in-game.

Kuznetsov was able to bounce-back up with the game-tying marker.Ā 

“Phone down and ask me that,” Boudreau said to a media member postgame, tongue-in-cheek. “I would’ve asked the ref right away. Do they still have spotters in the stands?Ā 

“If they do, that would’ve been the perfect case for a spotter I would think.”

Boudreau’s time in Washington didn’t coincide with Kuznetsov’s.Ā 

He was hired midseason to coach the Capitals during the 2007-08 season before being let go in 2011-12. Kuznetsov’s NHL career began with Washington in 2013.Ā 

Points are at a premium right now for the Canucks, who are trying to chase down a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Vancouver trails the Dallas Stars by two points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference with three more games played. The Canucks are also three points back of the Vegas Golden Knights for third in the Pacific Division, and are one point behind the Edmonton Oilers for fourth.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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