The Boston Bruins made multiple moves to effect the roster on Sunday. Joakim Nordstrom is headed to the IR. Therefor Urho Vaakanainen has been recalled from Providence on an emergency basis. The team has also announced that defenseman Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended two games.
The league announced Sunday morning that Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan. The hit came in the second period of the Bruins eventual 4-2 victory over the Coyotes. The play occurred as Lauzon was coming out of the penalty box after serving two minutes for high sticking. Lauzon looked to be just finishing a check to Stepan on the boards. The initial point of contact seemed to be the body, but Lauzon lunged upward and did hit the head of Stepan, which then bounced off the glass, thus making the hit essentially illegal. Lauzon is a first time offender, so the suspension does come as a bit of a surprise to some. Especially because not too much longer after Lauzon's game misconduct was assessed, a rather boarder line hit was put on Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy's head again bounced off the glass after he received a forearm from Arizonas Lawson Crouse. That call resulted in a two minute minor and doesn't seem to being drawing any potential from the NHL Department of Safety.
While its good to see the league coming down on players for making dangerous hits, it still seems to be impossible to figure out the system that the league uses, as the hit by Crouse seemed to be more dangerous and a bit more intentional.
Urho gets more time in
The call up for Urho Vaakanainen comes at a good time as he might actually see some playing time with the suspension of Lauzon also being announced. Vaakanainen has played five games in Boston this season. While he doesn't yet have any points, he has managed to notch a plus two plus/minus while being a solid defender for the Bruins. So far this year in Providence he's recorded 12 points in 42 games, including four goals and eight assists while again managing a positive plus minus with a +14, which usually indicates being a solid defender for the team. While there isn't exactly room on the Boston roster for Uhro, with injuries and suspensions it's a great time for Vaakanainen to come up and get some work in. This could also be Don Sweeney's way of showcasing him to the rest of the league for potential trades.
Some have been asking why David Backes wasn't the one to get the call over Vaakanainen. I think that in this case it just makes too much sense for it to be Vaakanainen to be the guy. The fact that he could use some work in the NHL to sharpen up his skills, the fact that he could be being showcased, and the fact that the Bruins are essentially down a defenseman, its all just too convenient of an opportunity for the Sweeney and co to pass up on.
Credit to bostonsportsjournal.com for the featured image