WILMINGTON, Mass. — Before making their way here to Ristuccia Arena this morning for a team meeting in the aftermath of their Game 2 victory over Montreal in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, several Boston Bruins players made their way to Mass. General Hospital to visit with teammate Matt Hunwick.
The rookie defenseman was rushed to the hospital yesterday and had to undergo a splenectomy after feeling severe abdominal pain. The surgery was completed without a hitch and he spent last night in the hospital.
“It’s tough seeing a friend and a teammate in that position. But you’ve just got to hope for the best. I’m glad they caught it and it was successful surgery,” said fellow defenseman Mark Stuart.
“I think (his spirits are) good, considering the situation. He looked pretty good. It was pretty soon after, even this morning, obviously he was tired.”
Head coach Claude Julien called Hunwick first thing when he woke up this morning.
“I gave him a call and told him we were looking forward to seeing him back around the team,” said the coach. “I know he’s got to spend a couple days in the hospital, but he was feeling better and I said, there’s things in life that are more important than a hockey game. And he’s taking care of himself and we’re going to do our best to make this playoff (run) as long as we can so that we give him a chance to come back and participate with us again.”
As for Hunwick’s spirits, Julien could tell there was a dash of disappointment in the blueliner’s voice.
“He’s feeling fine. There’s no doubt he’s disappointed because he wants to be with us. You could sense that in his voice,” said Julien. “And that’s totally normal. He’s a first-year player who is totally respected by his teammates because, first of all, he’s a very good person, he’s very considerate of everybody around him. I don’t think he’s ever rubbed anybody the wrong way. And the way he competes, in practice and games, he’s earned the respect of his teammates.
“So he’s a player that’s very well liked and to me it didn’t surprise me that the players (Saturday night) really wanted to win a hockey game and kind of dedicate it to him. The goal was to hopefully give him a better ending to his day then the start of it.”