Couple of pretty significant injury developments in the NHL on Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins both announced that key players (Matt Murray and Patrice Bergeron) are going to be sidelined for the immediate future.
In Pittsburgh, the Penguins announced that Murray, their starting goalie, will be sidelined after he was diagnosed with a concussion on Monday.
Murray was injured when he was hit with a shot in practice and had to leave the ice. The concern here for the Penguins, aside from the fact that Murray is their No. 1 goalie and has been starting to round into form lately after a slow start, is that Murray already has a history of concussions in the NHL. He is still only 23 years old.
This is the third year in a row the Penguins have dealt with an injury to their starting goalie in the stretch run of the regular season.
In Murray’s place the Penguins will turn to Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry. With Jarry struggling lately and getting pulled in two of his past six starts DeSmith is expected to get the start on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils.
Meanwhile, in Boston, the Bruins issued an update on the status of their top center and announced he will be sidelined for at least two weeks due to a foot fracture.
Bergeron was injured over the weekend when blocking a shot in Saturday’s game against Toronto. After an x-ray following the game came back negative, the Bruins allowed Bergeron to play in their game on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres. At that point the Bruins medical staff did a CT scan which revealed the fracture.
Bergeron is the centerpiece of the Bruins’ top line between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak and is having one of the best seasons of his already spectacular career. He is playing defense that is worthy of the Selke Trophy and has 54 points in 55 games. There is an argument to be made that he should be in the MVP running (though, history suggests he probably will not win — we explained why here).
Entering play on Tuesday the Bruins are in third place in the Atlantic Division, two points back of the second place Toronto Maple Leafs and seven points back of the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. They do however still have five games in hand on Toronto and three games in hand on Tampa Bay. When it comes to points percentage the Bruins are fourth in the NHL and second in the Eastern Conference behind only Tampa Bay.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.