Don Cherry said Matt Grzelcyk was ‘just asking for it’

Don Cherry said Matt Grzelcyk was ‘just asking for it’

Hockey Night in Canada host and former Bruins head coach Don Cherry said Matt Grzelcyk was “just asking for it” when Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist hit him from behind during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday.

“Look how [Grzelcyk] goes in head first. He’s just asking for it,” Cherry, 85, said while reviewing video of the hit. “I mean, I don’t blame the guy. I mean, he’s just finishing his check. He didn’t mean to hit him in the head.”

Grzelcyk left the game and was taken to a hospital for evaluation after Sundqvist hit him from behind while Grzelcyk played the puck against the end boards in the Bruins’ defensive zone with about two minutes to play in the first period.

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“You never go in the corner like that. You never, ever do it like that,” Cherry said, contending that Grzelcyk put himself in a dangerous position by facing the boards head-on when contact was imminent.

“You’re just asking for it,” he said. “And this is the whole deal with the helmet on… [if] you’d had your head on a swivel, you’d never go in like that.”

Cherry, who made headlines earlier this season for calling the Carolina Hurricanes a “bunch of jerks” for their irreverent postgame celebrations, and co-host Ron MacLean pointed out a similar hit from Blues forward Sammy Blais on Brandon Carlo early in the first period. Carlo had also turned his back to the approaching forechecker and was slammed against the boards when Blais hit him from behind.

“It’s the playoffs,” Cherry said. [The Blues are] trying to get back from last year, or last game… see how [Carlo has] got his head turned? Never do that, kids. You’re just asking for it.”

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Thursday that Sundqvist would have a hearing for boarding Grzelcyk, who the Bruins announced has entered concussion protocol and will not make the trip to St. Louis for Game 3 Saturday.

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Sundqvist was initially given a two-minute minor penalty for the play.

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Published at Thu, 30 May 2019 17:14:19 +0000