He is a hockey player and a tough one at that.

But if this was the NFL, would Mikhail Grabovski have even been allowed to return and play the hero in the third period against the Bruins Tuesday night?

Twice the Belarusian had his head crushed into the end boards by Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara and clearly felt the effects of each.

Wobbly and dazed from the second one, Grabovski barely made it back to the bench where the TV cameras caught him coming back to earth with the help of smelling salts.