Hitchcock to Worcester: Tuesday notes

Moments in a practice:

–Brent Thompson (Tommer) called Eric Boguniecki (Bogy) “Eric,” and I’m not sure, but like half the players might’ve had no idea who he was talking about.

–Chris Bourque looked to be in some serious discomfort after taking a bump in a drill along the boards. It was late in practice, so getting back into it wasn’t getting back into it, but at least he got back into it.

–Jeremy Smith dove across right to left to glove a Ryan Bourque one-timer on a rush, and the “OHHHHHhhhh” that echoed through the old rink at Wonderland was fun.

Not on either sheet this morning was Ryan Hitchcock, whose assignment to Worcester was announced earlier in the day. He hadn’t played the past five games. “Get him playing. We have numbers here. It’s all about a development piece,” Thompson said. “He’s a big part of the organization moving forward. He needs to play.”

And he will: Worcester has a good ol’ fashioned four-in-five coming, all at home, though at least the first two games are spread out: The first is tomorrow morning at 10, an hour ahead of Bridgeport’s game at Hartford, and the second is Thursday night.

Presumably, considering the suspension and injury and veteran situation, that means Scott Eansor’s ready, or at least ready-ish, as sending Hitchcock down leaves only one non-veteran extra forward. “We want to make sure his conditioning is in the right spot,” Thompson said. He insisted he hadn’t made a decision on tomorrow morning’s lineup. Eansor skated with Steve Bernier and Ben Holmstrom.

Thompson didn’t want to say anything directly about the suspensions to Bernier and Kyle Burroughs. “The league made a decision. We’ve got to honor it,” he said. “What’m I going to say? End of the day, the game of hockey’s a physical game. You never want to see someone hurt at all. Ever. I feel bad for those kids that are hurt. I know it wasn’t intentional in either instance.”

(On video, Bernier’s didn’t look as bad as I thought it would, though he did travel a distance to deliver the hit, even if he wasn’t still striding. Pretty sure the Burroughs incident is this one I sorta caught on Twitter, with about nine minutes left in regulation; I’d assumed cross-check from Hughes’ violent reaction to, I guess, losing teeth.)

Looks like the seventh time Bridgeport will have two men sitting out the same game with suspensions. The most interesting two were probably Jan. 3, 2014, when Justin Johnson finished up this beauty of a ban, and Marc Cantin started a three-game suspension for a check to the head; and Jan. 10, 2014, when Cantin finished that suspension and Johnson started a new six-game suspension.

Elsewhere, Florida sent Micheal Haley to Springfield on a conditioning loan. Haley is coming back from a month away from the team in the player assistance program.

That incredible Caris LeVert injury last night for the Brooklyn Nets (no, I won’t link the video, though I gotta admit I find those more fascinating than revolting) inspired me to mumble about how it seems a basketball player nearly snaps a foot off every year now… but somehow it was just a dislocation. (“Just”: easy for me to say.) I’m reminded of the night Mark Katic skated off the ice with his arm dangling limply, his shoulder obviously shredded… and then came back.

And a glaring absence from Wonderland today was Fairfield Prep’s hockey state championships banner. Presumably out getting an update. High school hockey is four weeks away. (Well, two to practice.) Incredible.

Michael Fornabaio