BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins had some good news and bad news to share on Monday afternoon as they enjoy a commanding 3-to-1 lead in their first round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Florida Panthers.
Patrice Bergeron is scheduled to skate at Tuesday’s Bruins team practice at Warrior Ice Arena and could be a pretty decent possibility to return for the Black and Gold in Wednesday night’s Game 5 at TD Garden.
“We’re fortunate that [Bergeron] will join us for practice [on Tuesday],” said Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “Then we’ll gauge his progression and go from there. As everybody knows, it’s day to day and we’ll see how he is when he integrates into other guys on the ice besides just himself.”
It may be a tad optimistic to assume he’s going to play in Game 5, and the Boston Bruins may opt for the more prudent choice to not rush the 37-year-old back into action while up by a decisive 3-to-1 margin in the series.
Bergeron has missed the first four games of the playoff series against Florida, but the Boston Bruins are a remarkable 8-1-0 this season while playing games without their captain including this postseason.
Bergeron, meanwhile, has been like an extra coach on the Boston Bruins staff around the team at home and sending messages to the B’s coaches during games about what he’s seeing while watching the action on the ice.
“You could tell that he was pretty pumped up of the way we were playing,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery of the text messages that Bergeron was sending Bruins assistant coach Chris Kelly during Game 3. “You feel helpless. It’s like the first time you retire, and you become a coach. You don’t have any impact on the ice so it’s like, how do you help?
“One, he’s an incredibly bright mind for the game. And the stuff he shared, whether it was stuff on neutral zone or O-zone or D-zone, it was poignant.”
The news is much tougher for David Krejci, who has already been ruled out for Wednesday night’s Game 5 after he wasn’t able to play last weekend in Florida after going through pregame warmups for Game 3 on Friday night. Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney said that Krejci was actually going to get his injury evaluated further with the Boston Bruins medical team, which doesn’t sound all that encouraging for a player that’s largely avoided injuries during the postseason in his NHL career.
“David [Krejci] likely won’t be practicing [on Tuesday],” said Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “I think we’ll have a better idea that he’s having further testing done today, we may have an update, but I won’t promise you that until the doctors can get back to us.”
Certainly there will be motivation for the Boston Bruins to take care of the Panthers as soon as possible to give injured bodies like Bergeron, Krejci and others more time to heal up should they advance to the second round.