Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk did not look 100 percent when the intensity of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs ramped up, and Grzelcyk confirmed that to be the case Monday, and with acknowledgement that a major surgery is on the way.
“I had a dislocated shoulder,” Grzelcyk revealed in his final media availability of the season. “Unfortunate that I have to get surgery, but just looking forward to getting healthy again and start feeling like myself again.”
According to Grzelcyk, the injury came during a late January home game with the Jets. It was in that game that Grzelcyk took a huge hit from Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois to the left of Tuukka Rask’s net.
Matt Grzelcyk is hit into the boards by Dubois and is in some serious pain.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 22, 2022
He heads down the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/jAuzcaA1op
“It was quite difficult,” Grzelcyk, who totaled four goals and 24 points (along with a career-best plus-22 rating) in 73 games, said of playing through the injury. “Just not feeling like myself. Pain-wise, it would keep popping in and out. That’s why I’d have to miss a game or two and wait for it to calm down.
“I played with it for 50 games or so. Really limited what I was able to do out there and just getting through practice some days was pretty tough. But definitely worth it. I would make that decision again to try to gut it out and play for the team.”
Signs of Grzelcyk being far less than fully healthy were there with some in-season absences that would seemingly pop up out of nowhere. And it was more than glaring in a Game 5 brush with Andrei Svechnikov, where Grzelcyk coughed up the puck in anticipation of a big hit coming right for the right shoulder (that’s the dislocated one) en route to a Carolina goal.
“It’s tough just having that in the back of your mind,” Grzelcyk admitted. “Playoffs are physical in general, but having to deal with that is obviously pretty challenging. They do a really good job on the forecheck as well, and kind of hemmed you in there a little bit. I feel like because I had pain in the shoulder, it just was tough to get my feet moving and play like I’m capable of playing and make some dynamic plays out there.”
Grzelcyk, who is signed at just under $3.7 million per year through the 2023-24 season, is not expected to be ready for the start of the 2022-23 season.