WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who suffered a broken ulna bone in his left forearm in Saturday's game against the Rangers, addressed the media Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena wearing a splint and was due to have a cast put on later in the day. He's expected to be out of action for four weeks.
Boychuk was injured when he was slashed by Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky early in the first period of the B's 3-2 loss to the Blueshirts.
Boychuk was still his chipper self Monday but he was also blunt about his feelings on missing approximately four weeks and 12 games.
"It sucks, but that's the way it has to be," said Boychuk.
After spending a good portion of last season as the team's seventh defenseman before establishing himself as a top-four rear guard down the stretch and in the playoffs, Boychuk knows what he'll need to do to be in game shape when his arm has finally healed.
"You've just got to stay positive and stay in shape, then when you're ready to play again you're actually ready and not out of shape," said Boychuk, who has three assists in six games this season.
Boychuk recalled the play on which he was injured Saturday night and how he battled through the pain for five shifts.
"I was going down the wall and I got slashed on the wrist," said Boychuk. "I went back to the bench as soon as it happened because, well, it hurt pretty bad. I came back and had to put some tape on the wrist to finish the period. I just tried to suck it up. I thought it was just a bruise or something like that.
Head coach Claude Julien said he was impressed by his blue-liner's grit and desire to keep playing, citing those qualities as reason to believe Boychuk could come back earlier than expected.
"He's a pretty tough individual," said Julien. "He's been through a lot and he's one of those players that bounces back pretty quickly. If there's a chance that somebody can come back earlier, he'd probably be one of those candidates."
Boychuk said he has yet to review the play on video so he couldn't comment on whether there was intent to injure from Dubinsky, but Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask watched the play unravel in person and deemed the slash needless.
"I saw it and I don't know if [Dubinsky is] trying to injure [Boychuk] there but it's a needless play because it's not like Johnny's trying to score a goal there," Rask said. "It's unfortunate because it doesn't need to happen, but he's probably thinking he can gain control if he knocks out Johnny's stick? I don't know."
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.