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Sunday, June 23, 2013
League: Boychuk hit legal

By Jesse Rogers

According to a league source, the NHL decided not to suspend Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk for his second period hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday for the following reasons:

-Didn't extend elbow or launch.

-Didn't target head or make it principal point of contact.

Replays show Boychuk leaving his feet but only after initial contact with Toews was made. That’s not illegal. The first point of contact is Toews’ back and/or shoulder but not the head. Eventually the hit rides up Toews towards his neck and head and then Boychuk falls on him. Additionally, Boychuk has control of his stick – to his side – eliminating any thought of a crosscheck.

Toews finished the second period but did not play in the third due to an “upper-body” injury. He was on the bench during the period and teammates said afterwards he was asking his coach to play. Joel Quenneville said afterwards he was “hopeful” Toews would participate in Game 6 on Monday. The Hawks lead the series 3-2.