After all the talk and well wishes and hopes that Sharks coach Todd McLellan had for tough guy Ben Eager after Eager’s brutal play in Game 2, it looks like he won’t take a chance that Eager will do the same tonight.
Eager will be a healthy scratch for Game 3 with the team down 2-0 in the series. In Game 2, Eager had six penalties for 20 minutes as well as a late goal in the Sharks 7-3 loss to Vancouver. Eager also found ways to energize the Canucks in all the wrong ways with a hit from behind on Daniel Sedin as well as taunting Roberto Luongo after scoring late in the third period of a blowout game.
Joining Eager as healthy scratches are Scott Nichol and Benn Ferriero. Entering into the lineup for San Jose are Jamal Mayers, Jamie McGinn, and Andrew Desjardins. It seems clear that McLellan didn’t want to take the chance of having Eager meltdown in Game 3 and risk taking another bad penalty or two. McLellan bulking down his entire fourth line is a substantial shakeup for this team.
It was shaping up yesterday that things were looking up for Patrice Bergeron to get back into the lineup for the Boston Bruins in either Game 3 or Game 4 against Tampa Bay and after today’s practice in Florida, things are looking even better.
It’s looking so good for Bergeron now that sources have told CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty that Bergeron will indeed be suiting up for the Bruins tonight as they look to take a 2-1 series lead against the Lightning. Getting Bergeron back in the lineup after suffering a concussion in Game 4 against Philadelphia in the previous round means that someone is going to get bumped out to the press box. It won’t be Tyler Seguin as coach Claude Julien said yesterday that Seguin was in no matter what, but it’ll likely be Shawn Thornton that sits in favor of Bergeron.
Getting Bergeron back in the lineup means the Bruins get their top scorer through the first two rounds back and also one of their top defending forwards as well. Bergeron’s help on the penalty kill will be more than welcome to Boston as the Lightning have done well to cash in on the man advantage all playoffs long and are 2-9 on the power play in this series.
With Bergeron in and Seguin lighting things up with the goals, Bruins fans have every reason to be pumped up. If Bergeron goes back to doing what he was doing all along and Seguin’s hot streak continues to roll the Bruins are that much more dangerous. Unless the Lightning have found ways to better defend against what the Bruins did to them in Game 2, this series could be taking a big swing in Boston’s favor.