Jake DeBrusk on late hit from Nazem Kadri: ‘it’s just playoff hockey’

Matt Kalman
April 13, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was back on the ice Saturday after taking a “maintenance day” and not practicing Friday.

DeBrusk crashed into the end wall during the Bruins’ 4-1 loss to Toronto in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round Thursday, and missed a couple shifts. He took a couple other bigger hits, including one that many on social media thought was late, and possibly a slew foot, from Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri.

DeBrusk, who declared himself “100 percent” ready to play in Game 2 after taking part in an optional morning skate Saturday, said he reviewed the Kadri play in question and decided the time of year makes those sort of plays less egregious than if they happen in the regular season.

“I think that it’s playoff hockey and that’s first in my thoughts when I look at the hit,” DeBrusk said. “I understand that there’s times where you get hit. I mean I thought it was personally, possibly a slew foot. But I think I looked at it and I mean it’s just playoff hockey and that’s just how it goes sometimes.

“I’m not really too focused on that play or that individual, I think it’s more so focus on our game and in this room, and hopefully we can respond physically and mentally. That’s kind of how we’re taking that play, I guess.”

On Friday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy described the hit as “a physical hit, it’s borderline.”

Cassidy said he “anticipates” DeBrusk will play, but the coach didn’t want to get into his specific lineup because of the off chance DeBrusk won’t be available.

Here’s what we know for sure:

*The Bruins will use the same six defensemen from Game 1.

*Tuukka Rask will start in net.

*David Backes will play after he was a healthy scratch for Game 1.

*Paul Carey was called up from Providence (AHL) to serve as the 13th forward.

*Top candidates to sit in favor of Backes are Joakim Nordstrom, Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman.

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