BOSTON — After the Bruins lost to Philadelphia, 2-1, tonight at TD Garden, there wasn’t as much anger as one might expect about Jody Shelley pushing Adam McQuaid into the end boards on an icing chase.
Maybe it was the way the Bruins lost in overtime, or McQuaid’s ability to return to the game later in the second period, that softened some players’ stance on the nature of the play. But head coach Claude Julien expressed some disgust with a hit that could’ve resulted in much worse than McQuaid just getting the wind knocked out of him.
“Well I looked at it again and personally, I didn’t think there was any need for it. I don’t know what the intention was, but certainly, there was no need for that at all and I think that’s one of the things we’re trying to get out of game,” said the Bruins coach about the play that happened 5:08 into the second period. “I mean, I know Shelley a little bit from a long time ago and he’s actually a good person and, to me, he’s a tough guy. I don’t know that he’s purposely gone out there to injure people like that so I found that a little bit strange that he would do that. It’s unfortunate. Like I said, it’s uncalled for. Hopefully the league deals with it the proper way and we’ll go from there.”
Here’s a look at the play:
McQuaid, simply the nicest guy wearing a Bruins sweater, didn’t vilify Shelley for the hit, but described it this way:
“Well, you know, I obviously wasn’t prepared to get hit there. It’d be different, I guess, if I was even reaching for the puck, but [Andrew Ference] was the one who went back and got the puck, so I’m not really sure what happened to be honest with you. I just got my back and I’m not sure how hard it was or anything, but I guess I wasn’t prepared to get hit in that situation.
When asked if it was a reckless play, he answered:
“Well, I mean, I didn’t go in [to the wall] on my own. I felt like I got pushed. I don’t know. I’m not sure. I have to take a look at it, I guess.”
McQuaid said he hit face first. He had to be helped off the ice, where Shelley — fresh off receiving a game misconduct — waited to say he didn’t mean to injure the Bruins defenseman. McQuaid wouldn’t elaborate too much on his injury, but said “there was a few things going on, really, I don’t want to talk about.”
After the game, Shelley was claiming it was all an accident.
“I don’t intend to go out there and fall on top of a guy on the end boards, especially on an icing like that,” Shelley told CSNPhilly.com. “It was a quick play and I’m trying to get to the puck and get around the guy.
“I lost my edge. Next thing, we’re in the boards together. I am glad he is OK. It’s one of those things. You don’t want to see a guy laying on the ice. The referee had to make that call. I was disappointed that it happened.”
There’s no telling what type of punishment he’ll receive, if any. This apology will probably go a long way toward tilting the NHL wheel of justice in his favor.
All we know is that in the tradition of Randy Jones/Patrice Bergeron and Scott Hartnell/Andrew Alberts, the Bruins came out on the wrong end of a dangerous hit and the Boston-Philadelphia rivalry now has some extra gas thrown on the fire.