AP NEWS

Bruins notebook: Coyotes center Alex Burmistrov survives scary hit by Bruin Colin Miller

March 1, 2017

The Department of Player Safety surely will take a look at Colin Miller’s hit that sent Arizona Coyotes center Alex Burmistrov to the hospital last night. But if it was left up to either coach, there would be no further discipline.

In fact, it looked like a clean hit with a bad ending. Burmistrov was taken off the ice via stretcher (he gave the Garden crowd two thumbs up). After further evaluation, he was released from a local hospital and rejoined his teammates last night.

“First of all, you’re always worried about the player’s health. We understand that he’s doing OK,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “It looked like . . . it was a clean hit, even though Burmistrov’s in a vulnerable position. Again, his health is first and foremost, but I thought it was a clean hit from my vantage point. We had a quick discussion with the officials. It’s a bang-bang call, so we’re not going to beat it up. That’s what I saw and I guess down the road they’ll look at it or they won’t, I don’t know what will happen there. But we’re glad he’s OK.”

Said Arizona coach Dave Tippett: “You know what? He was in a vulnerable position but it was a hockey hit. Burmistrov’s head was down. It’s a hard hit. I mean, it’s a hit that happens in hockey a lot of times. You never want to see anybody get hurt. I don’t think it was an intentional hit to hurt somebody. It was just a guy stepping up on a guy that was in a vulnerable position and kind of caught him with his side.

“It sounds like he’s going to be OK. He’s getting some tests done, but it sound like he’s going to be fine.”

Jakob Chychrun was breaking the puck out of the Arizona zone and dished it ahead to Burmistrov. Miller stepped up from the blue line and crushed Burmistrov with the hit after the puck had just left his stick. He was given five minutes for charging and a game misconduct.

Miller appeared to keep his elbow tucked in.

“I was just trying to step up in the neutral zone and make a play on him, but you never like to see that with him going off on a stretcher. Hopefully he’s feeling better,” said Miller, who didn’t question getting tossed. “I think in any situation the refs have to make a decision. With the state that he was in there it looked pretty bad. I don’t know, they’ve got to make a decision and you can’t really criticize them.”

Miller said he was able to communicate with Burmistrov via text message.

“Yeah, I reached out, said ‘Hope you’re feeling better,’ and stuff like that. He said he understands it’s a hockey play. Sounds like he’s doing better, we’ll see,” Miller said.

Spooner steps up

There were times earlier this season when it seemed Ryan Spooner, bouncing between wing and center and never really creating a home for himself at either, would be dealt by today’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

But since being put back at center when Cassidy replaced Claude Julien behind the bench, Spooner has done a good job of seizing his opportunity. Now it seems like it would take an incredibly good offer from a team for general manager Don Sweeney to move Spooner with the third-line center playing a role in the B’s push for a playoff spot.

Does he think the coaching change has solidified his spot here?

“Yes and no. At the end of the day, I still have to go out there and play well. I can’t just expect that it’s a new coach and it’s my spot. I still have to go out there and show that I can play,” said Spooner, who conceded some of his problems under Julien were self-inflicted. “I feel like in the last eight games, aside for the games against the Kings and the Ducks, my game was just OK. I wasn’t creating stuff. They’re big and strong teams and I have to be better than that, but I feel like for the most part my game’s been a lot better. And definitely in the last 20 games here, I want to keep that up.”

Beleskey scratched

Matt Beleskey, a potential trade piece, was scratched again last night.

“(Beleskey) has worked hard to try to get back into game shape, even though he’s not in the lineup every night. That’s tough to do when you’re not playing. We get that,” Cassidy said.

It was Beleskey’s fourth scratch in the last seven games.

It’s no wonder why Beleskey’s name has been making its way around the trade rumor mill. He’s scheduled to make $3.8 million for the next three years and he’s not playing regularly. When he does play, it’s been in a bottom-six role. But he wants to make it work here. He has a minimally modified no-trade clause that stipulates he can block trades to a list of just six teams.

“It’s that time of year. There’s nothing I can do, so I try not to think about it,” Beleskey said. “We bought a house here, we’re having a baby and it’s where we want to be, but it is what it is.”