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Dale Hunter thinks Bruins are targeting Nicklas Backstrom’s head

04.17.12 at 1:32 pm ET
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WASHINGTON — Capitals coach Dale Hunter thinks the Bruins are targeting Nicklas Backstrom‘s head. That’s a big accusation, especially given Hunter’s track record as a player.

Backstrom, of course, missed 40 games this season due to a concussion, so the suggestion that the B’s are going after his head is pretty heavy.

“Every scrum, Nicky comes out with no helmet on, he gets blockered to the head by [Tim] Thomas the game before. He’s protecting his head,” Hunter told reporters Tuesday. “He just came out for 40 games. You have to protect your head. With his stick being in his face like that, it was a dangerous play on his part.”’

Backstrom has a hearing with the league on Wednesday for his cross-check to the face of Rich Peverley at the end of Game 3. Hunter said he doesn’t think Backstrom will be suspended because Peverley’s stick was “up in his face first.”

“He’s got to protect himself,” Hunter said of Backstrom. “If you get a second concussion, you’re out a long time. If it wasn’t there, if a stick wasn’t in his face, Nicky Backstrom’s not that kind of player. He doesn’t just cross-check somebody in the face. He’s not like that. Because of the stick was there, he protected himself.”

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Dale Hunter, Nicklas Backstrom, Rich Peverley
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