Former Bruin Johnny Boychuk narrowly avoids serious injury

"This one was not even inches. This was a matter of milli-inches."

Johnny Boychuk New York Islanders
Johnny Boychuk spent six seasons with the Bruins. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer) –The Associated Press

Former Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk had quite a scare in the Islanders’ 6-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night.

Boychuk checked Toronto’s Mitch Marner into the boards late in the second period. As Marner toppled forward, his legs swung up behind him, and his left skate blade clipped Boychuk in the neck.

Boychuk first dropped to his knees, clutching his throat as his teammates called for the trainer. He got back up on his feet and immediately skated to the bench and proceeded directly to the locker room.

Incredibly, Boychuk returned to the game in the third period because, well, he’s a hockey player.

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“Thank the Lord on that,’’ Islanders coach Barry Trotz said to reporters after the game. “That could’ve been a very ugly scene. He got a little bit of a scratch right there. But you talk about a life, you never know. Like a game, it’s a matter of inches. This one was not even inches. This was a matter of milli-inches. I think it’s very sobering for him. You see Johnny’s face, he’s pretty white right now. He realizes how close he comes to maybe something serious.’’

Boychuk, who played 317 games for the Bruins from 2008-14, acknowledged the close call in a post on Twitter after the game.

“Thank you for all positive thoughts. I was extremely scared and I am very lucky to have someone watching over me tonight. A lot of thoughts go through your mind when you feel the blade touch your neck. The place was rocking tonight and we will see you tomorrow!’’

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