While the Bruins’ Game 3 win over Tampa Bay had its fair share of highlights across the ice, it didn’t come without some worries about how players were feeling heading into this afternoon’s Game 4 (1:30 p.m. ET on NBC)
Bruins centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci had separate worries following Game 3. Bergeron was playing in his first game since suffering a concussion in Game 4 against Philadelphia in the previous round while Krejci took a wicked hit from Marc-Andre Bergeron that sent the Czech center reeling to the ice.
CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty finds out that all is well with both players and that while they didn’t skate at yesterday’s practice, they’ll be good to go this afternoon.
“David is fine,” Claude Julien said. “We had a bunch of guys stay off today. “It’s more of an optional and short skate. There are no issues with David. He’s playing tomorrow [in Game 4] with no issues at all.”
As for Bergeron, he tells Haggerty that he had no ill effects in his first game back after his latest concussion. While the injury was labeled and derided for being a “mild” concussion (a mild brain injury is tough to swallow), Bergeron felt great after Game 3.
“To be honest I wasn’t even worried about it,” Bergeron said. “I knew I was back and I was ready. It took maybe a couple of shifts keeping things simple, but after that I really felt like I was in the groove and things were good. I knew I was good [physically] and I was ready mentally as well.”
That’s a great sign for Bergeron given his history with concussions and the latest one coming so suddenly thanks to a hit from Claude Giroux. Bergeron’s presence on the ice in Game 3 certainly made a difference for the Bruins in that he was able to win more than 60% of his faceoffs. Bergeron and Krejci together dominated on draws in Game 3 helping the Bruins to control the flow of the game.
Krejci scoring just over a minute into Game 3 helped the Bruins get out to the start they hoped for and had Tampa Bay scrambling all game long. Keeping both guys healthy and in the lineup makes the difference for the Bruins between being contenders or pretenders for the finals.