CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks could have their own serious injury issue to worry about as Jonathan Toews was on the bench but did not play in the third period of Game 5 after taking a big hit from Johnny Boychuk in the second period.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said after game 5 that Toews has an upper-body injury that he is hopefully Toews can play in game 6 on Monday in Boston.
No hit through the first two periods was more emblematic of the increased nastiness of Game 5 than the shot that the Bruins defenseman laid on the Blackhawks. It succeeded in stopping a pretty promising chance for Toews and it was a massive shot, but it was also a very dangerous one.
There was no penalty called on the play but there certainly could have been, probably for elbowing. It was also perilously close to being punishable from the league as it's hard to tell where the principle point of contact was on Toews; his shoulder or his head.
"I'm pretty sure it was clean," Boychuk said after the game.
But it doesn't matter what he thinks, it matters how the league sees it and according to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, the league is "definitely looking" at the hit. Boychuk, one of Boston's best defensemen in Game 5, could face the wrath of Brendan Shanahan.
Toews also took an elbow to the head in the first period from Zdeno Chara.
Here's another look in GIF format (courtesy of SB Nation):
It also brings to mind an important lesson: be careful when crossing the middle of the Bruins' zone.
Toews did return for a couple of short shifts in the second period but did not return to the ice in the third, although he was on the Chicago bench, something that didn't go unnoticed by the Hawks.
"It gave us a lift to see him out there," Patrick Sharp said. "You guys know Jonny, I'm sure he'll find a way to be back."