Boston Bruins’ Aaron Ward Expected Back In Lineup For Game 6 After Punch
The Bruins dominated game five of their series against the Carolina Hurricanes, but still trail three games to two and have a steep mountain back. They need to win tonight’s game six on the Hurricanes’ home ice and in front of their fans in order to stave off elimination once more and take the series back to Boston. Thankfully for them, they will have one of their top defensemen and leadership presences on the ice for it. Aaron Ward had a scary moment at the end of game five, where he was punched in the face by Carolina’s Scott Walker:
Ward was getting into a bit of a post-whistle tussle with Matt Cullen, but nothing major. Before Ward even knows what’s going on amidst the chaos, Walker comes flying over elbow-first then immediately drops the gloves and delivers the haymaker to Ward’s left eye. Ward has a nice shiner on his face now and will need to wear a visor for the first time in his career for game six. But the important thing for the Bruins is that he’s able to play. A bruise is certainly not enough to keep any hockey player, let alone Ward, out of the lineup.
Walker was fined $2,500 by the league for his actions, and according to a statement by the Hurricanes said that “Based on what was said on the ice as I was dropping my gloves, it was my understanding that I was engaged in an altercation.” But upon reviewing the video, one has to wonder what Ward could have said to trigger such a quick reaction from Walker. The whole incident happens in about one second, long enough for Ward to get out maybe three words, if any at all. And from the close-ups, it looks like he’s not saying anything.
It was a definite cheap shot by Walker and definitely deserved the fine. It wasn’t quite extreme enough to suspend Walker for a game, but I’m glad it wasn’t. Now he can roam the ice and try his best to avoid Milan Lucic, who was furious at the punch and wanted a piece of Walker as soon as it happened. Bruins fans can rest assured that Walker will be destroyed with a body check as soon as someone gets the chance.
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