The Providence Bruins are in Laval tonight to face the Laval Rocket, the affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.
If this play is any indication, the rivalry between Laval and Providence may end up reaching the level of Bruins-Canadiens days past...depending on who you ask.
In the early part of tonight’s game, Bruins forward Brendan Gaunce was crossing center ice when he was run into by Rocket forward Michael McCarron.
This is the play that lead to Brendan Gaunce leaving the game.— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 19, 2019
No penalties were assessed on the play. pic.twitter.com/g2GqoGy5Lh
A slowed down version:
October 18, 2019
Per Mark Divver and others watching the game, Gaunce was bleeding from the face and ended up being taken off the ice on a stretcher.
(It was Gaunce).— Brandon Share-Cohen (@BShareCohen) October 18, 2019
Tried to stand with the trainers after a few minutes on the ice and he was wobbly. The doctor came out and called for the stretcher soon after.
It’s hard to say without seeing it live, but it sure didn’t look like it was incidental. Gaunce wasn’t looking anywhere near McCarron, and the puck was a zone away. It sure seemed like McCarron looked up well before Gaunce did, but he continued on his line anyways.
Of course, it’s a lot easier to say that when you’re watching a slowed-down version, so it may be best to reserve judgement. Still, it’s ugly.
Gaunce is currently the Bruins second-leading scorer, with 3 goals and an assist in 6 games.
Hopefully the kid is OK.
EDIT (8:58 PM): A couple of EOTP guys I follow were watching the game to cover the Rocket, so I asked them for their takes.
(Before you scream “bias,” they’re good dudes.)
It's so hard to tell without a closer view, I'm not a fan of it to say the least.— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 19, 2019
Regardless the fact there wasn't an interference penalty on the play blows my mind.
I'm at the game and it looked incidental at the time. Looking at the replay, I'm not sure if McCarron was trying to jump out of the way or lean into him. Almost like he was waiting for Gaunce to move.— Jared Book (@jaredbook) October 19, 2019
He did go to Gaunce after the hit to check on him as he was getting up.
Yeah, it should have been a penalty for interference at least. It should be noted that there was a challenge from Woods to fight McCarron in the 2nd but unsure whether it was related to the hit or something else.— Jared Book (@jaredbook) October 19, 2019
UPDATE (Saturday, 9:15 AM): Not surprisingly, Gaunce is going to be out for a little bit.
Brendan Gaunce is week to week, per Jay Leach. He was obviously concussed on hit by Michael McCarron— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 19, 2019
Video of the entire incident and aftermath has surfaced as well.
WARNING–– graphic content: Brendan Gaunce receives a bad hit from McCarron and goes down hard. Gaunce was bleeding profusely, tried to get up on his own strength and legitimately couldn't. He seemed to be heaving into the towel. No penalty, but blatant interference. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/ZcpCdSNBIR— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) October 19, 2019
The thing that jumps out to me is that McCarron makes absolutely no effort to get out of the. You could argue that he doesn’t see Gaunce until the last second, but even that seems questionable; his head is facing toward Gaunce’s general direction the entire time.
No word yet on whether or not the AHL is looking into it.
There’s also this bit of history:
FWIW, three years ago this week McCarron lost a fight to Justin Hickman of Providence, headbutted him and was suspended for 2 games by the AHL— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 19, 2019