Chris Wagner opens up about missing time after painful shot block: 'It's been really tough'

Evan Marinofsky
May 26, 2019 - 6:28 pm

In 2013, the Bruins' symbol of sacrifice in the Eastern Conference Finals was Gregory Campbell blocking an Evgeni Malkin slap shot and breaking his leg, which kept him out of the Stanley Cup Final. 

This year, it was Chris Wagner laying out to block a Justin Faulk slap shot in Game 3 with his right arm. 

Though we don't know the timeline or severity of his injury, he hasn't played since the block. On Sunday, Wagner wasn't going to be the one to talk about the details of his injury. 

"Yeah, I don't know if I'm allowed," he said. "I wanted to come up here and be like Bill Belichick -- 'We're on to Cincinnati'. Right now I'm just kind of hanging out." 

Wagner hasn't officially been ruled out of the Cup Final against the Blues and we still don't know the details of what he's dealing with, but it's generally believed he won't play again this season. It hasn't been easy mentally for the winger from Walpole. 

"It's been a little tough watching them get ready and not being on the ice," said Wagner. "It's been really tough. But you just want to stay supportive. We've gotten this far. It's not about me. It's about the team. We've had that attitude with whoever's gone in or out of the lineup. Like we keep saying, 'Next man up.'" 

"Next man up." Looks like Wagner got to be Belichick in more ways than one. 

When Wagner blocked the shot, he still stayed on the ice to finish the shift. Five minutes from taking a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final is not exactly the time to abandon a shift in the defensive zone. 

"Didn't feel good," said Wagner of blocking the shot. "You can tell, if you watch it, from my reaction. But, yeah -- probably kind of blacked out a little bit. It hurt." 

Because of the heroic block, Wagner earned the game puck after Game 3. But since he wasn't there after Game 4, he couldn't physically hand it off to Patrice Bergeron --  the player of that game. 

To make up for it, the Bruins facetimed him so he could hand the puck off virtually. 

"It meant a lot," said Wagner. "Honestly at this point, I wouldn't expect anything less. It's funny. Ten years ago, if I'm getting a FaceTime from Zdeno Chara, I'm probably going, 'What the heck?' It was pretty cool to almost feel like you're in the locker room and for them to think of me in that moment means a lot to me." 

So would Wagner block that shot again? 

"Oh yeah. Yeah," said Wagner. "It's Sunday, so I told my mom I'd drop a Bible quote. Jesus said there's no greater love than laying down your life for your friend. We're all friends and we all love each other. So why would I not do that?" 

Looks like another Summer of Love here in the city of Boston.

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