BOSTON (CBS) — Charlie McAvoy made his case to the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday, but it wasn’t good enough. They hit McAvoy with a one-game suspension, leaving Boston without one of their best defensemen for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes.
McAvoy received the ban for his hit to the head on Columbus forward Josh Anderson late in the second period of Boston’s series-clinching Game 6 victory over the Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He’s obviously disappointed that he won’t be playing Thursday night in Game 1, but said he respects the process and the NHL’s decision.
“I’m said my peace in accordance of the rules, and I think we put forth a pretty good defense. Really slowing it down and watching [the play], seeing how his body changed at the last second, opening up. It was tough; I was just trying to make a hockey play and it was unfortunate, really,” McAvoy told reporters on Wednesday.
“Whatever, I have to serve it. I respect the process and was glad I was able to say my peace and be able to defend myself,” he said. “But all things together, I’m not a very good lawyer, I guess.”
McAvoy also defended his reputation for those labeling him a dirty player after Monday night’s hit.
“I don’t think I’m a dirty player by any means. This was just a tough circumstance,” he said. “I was trying to deliver a legal check and I felt I got a healthy amount of body. This is just something, I have to serve it. I respect their decision. Disappointed I won’t be able to help my team in Game 1, but I’m already looking forward to using this extra time to put myself in the best position to be ready to go for Game 2. It’s an opportunity for me to rest some bumps and bruises and, mentally, reset. When Game 2 rolls around, I’m going to do everything I can to help the team.”
It won’t be easy filling McAvoy’s skates, but he’s confident that when he returns to the lineup, the Bruins will be one win closer to reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
“I have complete faith in this team to go out and play our game in Game 1,” he added.