While the Bruins wait out the Western Conference to finish things up so they can really gear up for their Eastern Conference finals matchup against Tampa Bay, there’s a few things they’ve got to get sorted out ahead of time. With one big injury and a lineup spot to fill and work around, Claude Julien’s job is going to be a bit busy in the days leading up to the East finals.
With Patrice Bergeron set to miss the start of the series thanks to a concussion, the team is hopeful they’ll get their leading scorer in the playoffs back at some point. With Bergeron’s concussion history the prospects don’t appear to be too good for that to happen quickly. There is some positive news from Bergeron today as his agent Kent Hughes gives CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty an update on how Bergeron is feeling.
There’s no telling when Bergeron will be feeling good and cleared for skating again after suffering his third concussion in the last 3 ½ years, but Hughes had one more piece of good news when asked about his spirits when the agent did speak with him.
“Pretty good, actually,” replied Hughes in an email.
Spirits being good is one thing compared to how he’s actually doing. Given that Bergeron’s injury was described as a “mild concussion” similar to the diagnosis Sidney Crosby got for his, expecting a timetable to be set for Bergeron’s return would be unwise.
As for Bergeron’s replacement in the lineup, Tyler Seguin was back at practice today and working out with his likely linemates. Bergeron had been working out as one of the team’s top two centers along with David Krejci, but Seguin won’t be playing center nor will he be put in the unenviable position of having to equal Bergeron’s game. Haggerty has more from Bruins practice about who he’ll be lining up with.
Tyler Seguin has joined the group of 12 forwards at practice, and is skating on the wing with Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder on Boston’s third line. The top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton remain intact and Chris Kelly stepped in for Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi.
Seguin lining up with Ryder and Peverley makes it a virtual line of misfit toys as Ryder is/was vilified by fans and Seguin was parked in the press box all through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Peverley’s been a solid trooper all around since coming over from Atlanta at the trade deadline. I’ll be worth watching to see if this line can get things going at all and give the Bruins some scoring depth and help they’ll need to break through the Tampa 1-3-1 defense as well as Dwayne Roloson.
If Seguin is slow to get going or can’t get his offense going at all and the Bruins struggle, expect the grumbling to pick up substantially from the fans who have been calling for Seguin to play all along and worry about his development as a potential cornerstone player. Winning cures all ills and so far the Bruins rolling along in the playoffs have kept the fans happy, but if trouble strikes, the grumbling will begin and it will be loud.