Bruins coach Claude Julien already has his hands full with trying to get his team to beat Caps goalie Braden Holtby. He might have bigger issues on his hands today trying to do that without a pair of starters.
Julien tells CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty that forward Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Joe Corvo will take warmups before this afternoon’s Game 6 in Washington. This comes after seeing both players suffer injuries in yesterday’s Game 5 with Bergeron dealing with an upper body injury and Corvo smarting after blocking a shot off his leg. Bergeron took a pair of hits to the head and saw his time greatly reduced in the third period.
If Bergeron can’t start today, Jordan Caron will get the call to take his place in the lineup while if Corvo can’t start, Mike Mottau or Andrew Bodnarchuk will take his spot on the blue line. If the Bruins were looking for their backs to be further against the wall, they might just get that should either or both guys be out.
After enduring a somewhat excessive round of criticism while struggling last season, Ilya Kovalchuk had a slightly under-the-radar bit of brilliance this year, scoring 83 points. While Adam Henrique and David Clarkson have given the New Jersey Devils a little more offensive depth in 2011-12, the buck still tends to stop at Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. After being shut out 3-0 to fall behind 3-2 in a first round series with the Florida Panthers, there are rumors swirling about Kovalchuk’s health.
Tom Gulitti presents the arguments.
“You know what? Everybody this time of year is dealing with stuff,” DeBoer said.
So is Kovalchuk injured? We’re unlikely to find out the exact answer until whenever the Devils’ postseason ends. The answer seems to be “not enough” for now, though.
If the 2012 playoffs weren’t already turning into the Summer of Upsets, then it would be truly shocking that the Boston Bruins being down 3-2 in their series with the Washington Capitals. Either way, the defending champs face possible elimination on Sunday, and they might just need to survive without underrated two-way center Patrice Bergeron and offensive blueliner Joe Corvo, according to CSNNE.com Joe Haggerty.
Here’s Haggerty on what might have caused Bergeron’s issues.
Patrice Bergeron left the ice early in his second shift of the third period after taking an Alex Ovechkin hit near the offensive blueline that appeared to catch the B’s center in the head. Bergeron waved B’s trainer Donnie DelNegro off when he attempted to approach the center on the bench following the collision, but the two-way pivot only played one more shift for the rest of the contest.
Bergeron looked sluggish and labored during the only shift he hopped out for as a right wing, and he once again ended the shift early when things obviously didn’t feel right.
The Capitals scored two goals in the third period while Bergeron was essentially out of action, so containing Washington could be that much tougher without that Selke-caliber forward.
Corvo isn’t necessarily known for being a great defensive stopper, but losing him likely wouldn’t help matters for the Bruins, either. Haggerty describes Corvo’s potential injury situation, too:
Joe Corvo went down in the second period after absorbing a Mike Green slapper to the knee that sent him down to the ice, and resulted in a goal when Corvo couldn’t return to the play. The refs didn’t blow the whistle when Corvo originally went down, and it essentially created a 5-on-4 situation when the B’s defenseman couldn’t get back into the play.
The Bruins and Capitals will face off in Game 6 at 3 pm ET on Sunday, so there isn’t exactly a lot of time for either player to recover. Hockey players are known to fight through injuries in the playoffs, but we’ll see if Corvo or Bergeron can fight through it.