Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm struggled mightily in the first-round playoff series loss to the Florida Panthers and now we may know exactly why that was.
The Swedish defenseman told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that he played during the postseason with a fractured foot and had played with the injury for the final few weeks of the regular season as well. Lindholm was a shell of himself during the playoffs, finishing with zero points in the seven games and generally looked very uncomfortable trying to move the puck against the fast, physical and heavy Florida forecheck.
The Panthers, of course, have continued to win games and pushed to the Eastern Conference Final after playoff series wins over the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
He also averaged 21:53 of ice time during the playoffs and only missed two games during the regular season, so it wasn’t like the Boston Bruins were resting the key defenseman down the stretch. Lindholm told the Swedish news outlet that he was skipping playing for Team Sweden the IIHF World Championships due to the foot injury.
When asked if he was injured during the playoffs, Lindholm didn’t seem to want to make it into an excuse for his play.
“I’d say I was fine. Everyone has bumps and bruises that time of year. There are no excuses on that stuff,” said Lindholm on the day the Boston Bruins cleaned out their lockers at Warrior Ice Arena. “I think even if you were to have something linger…like we had guys play through stuff. It’s just that time of year. You try to find ways. We couldn’t really do that this year.”
Lindholm playing through a fractured foot just adds to the number of Boston Bruins players that were less-than-effective while skating through injuries as key players Patrice Bergeron (herniated disc) and Linus Ullmark (undisclosed “debillitating” lower body injury) struggled as well while less than 100 percent in the postseason. It truly was a disappointing end for the 29-year-old Lindholm, who had 10 goals, 53 points and a whopping plus-49 mark in 80 games for the Black and Gold during a breakout first full season in Boston.