Bruins

Bergeron has 'mild concussion,' will miss start of series

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Bergeron has 'mild concussion,' will miss start of series

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. Everyones greatest fears were realized Saturday morning as Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced to the gathered media that center Patrice Bergeron would miss at least the beginning of the Tampa Bay series with a mild concussion.This weekend's brain injury is Bergeron's third concussion during a promising NHL career for the 25 year-old that's beenmarred by the NHL epidemic.He went into the Quiet Room after he was hit, was assessed by our doctors, took the NHL-modified SCAT II test and was deemed unable to return. But what Im told is that the concussion is mild, said Chiarelli, who said he hadnt checked in with Bergeron again as he was still sleeping on Saturday morning. When I spoke with him after the game he was a little despondent, but he was quite lucid. He was despondent having suffered another concussion. It was just okay.Thats where that stands. We have an injury now, so well see how our depth gets tested.Bergeron went home after the game and didnt stay overnight at the hospital given the mildness of the head injury, and the fact the Bs center was relatively clear-headed after the game. He still has yet to visit with a neurologist and get a diagnosis from any kind of specialist.With a mild concussion theres a minimum of 7-10 days missed by the players, so Bergeron would miss at least the first couple of games against the Lightning, after posting 12 points in 11 playoff games and winning over 64 percent of his face-offs during the postseason.The Bs two-way center and their best player during the playoffs was felled by a late Claude Giroux hit in the opening minutes of the third period during Game Four at TD Garden when the two teams were still battling in a 1-1 tie game. Bergeron took three strides after passing the puck away in his defensive zone before Giroux leveled him with a shoulder to the head area, and the center slammed his head hard against the ice after the collision. Chiarelli admitted that he felt the Giroux hit was a shade late, but given the speed of the game and the level of competition in the playoffs that it was something the Bruins would have to live with. Its tough to tell. I did have a brief discussion with the league on it, and it was a tough one to gauge that speed, said Chiarelli, who doubted there would be any supplemental discipline against Giroux.Chiarelli said that the latest concussion didnt grade out as severely as the one suffered against the Carolina Hurricanes on a Dennis Seidenberg hit during the 2008-09 season that kept Bergeron out of the lineup for a month. But the Bs center was expected to miss at least the first couple of games against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.Youre obviously missing a key character component and a key leadership component in Bergeron, but theres been a growing element of leadership from a lot of different places in the room, said Chiarelli.
Its likely Tyler Seguin will be inserted into the lineup in Bergerons absence after not having taken a single shift since an April 10 loss to the New Jersey Devils in the regular season finale, and Chiarelli said its up to the 19-year-old rookie to fill the void after sitting out the first two rounds of the playoffs.Its a discussion that weve had with the coaching staff and our group, said Chiarelli. We feel Seguin deserves a chance and hes been working quite hard in practice. Well see where he fits in the lineup. Hes really put his nose to the grindstone in practice and watching from above hes picked up the intensity and tenacity of the games. Plus hell give us an offensive boost also.Bergeron missed nearly the entire 2007-08 season after suffering an October concussion against the Flyers when Randy Jones crushed him in the corner on a vicious hit, and then missed time a year later when a collision with Seidenberg gave him his second career concussion.The Bruins have really hit their first injury adversity of the playoffs with Bergeron going down, and the response against the Lightning will be telling.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Only five games into season, Bruins already sending off bad vibes

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Only five games into season, Bruins already sending off bad vibes

LAS VEGAS -- Even though it's only five games into a new regular season, it feels like the Bruins are in danger of going off the tracks.

They finished their three-game Western road swing Sunday with an aimless 3-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, which came on the heels of a wretched defeat in Colorado and a victory over the winless Coyotes. Sunday was particularly disheartening, as they never tested their ex-goalie, Malcolm Subban, putting only 21 mostly harmless shots on net against a player they gave away on waivers just a few weeks ago,

They may only have three losses in five games, but it sure feels like there's trouble starting to brew in Bruins land.

“It could be a lot of different things,” said Brad Marchand about the loss to Las Vegas. "We may not have been as mentally prepared for that game as we thought we were. They wanted it more than we did. They out-battled us in a lot of areas and they were the better team. We were making it hard on ourselves. We were trying to do too much with the puck, and not directing enough of the pucks toward the net. You can’t get rebound and you can’t get bodies there if the puck isn’t going there.”

That is a lot of different things. A lot of different problems:

-- They couldn’t fight to get to the front of the net against a rugged Vegas defensive group that was going to make them battle to get there.

-- Once again they had too many passengers along for the ride, with both Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano failing to even be a blip on the game’s radar screen. Spooner suffered a lower body injury midway through the game, but while he was out there he was a non-factor once again. 

-- It felt like there was no flow at all to Boston’s game, with breakouts dogged by sloppy passing and players who weren’t hard enough on the puck.

-- When they did get a chance to create something they either missed the net with their shot, or opted not to even take the shot in the first place. 

-- They lost 67 percent of the 57 draws taken during the game, and saw Spooner, Riley Nash and David Krejci and Ryan Spooner go a combined 8-for-29 in the face-off circle.

-- They chased the puck for long stretches and certainly didn’t ever put together anything approaching a consistent, driving pressure in the offensive zone.

Missing stalwart veterans like Patrice Bergeron and David Backes certainly isn’t helping. It makes the Bruins a much smaller group up front that can be pushed around by bigger, stronger defensive units.

But even so, there’s a sense the Bruins can’t consistently bring their 'A' game to the rink with them and don’t seem to have much fight when they fall down by a couple of goals. Trailing by just two goals going into the third period, the Bruins had four shots on net for most of the final period until a late flurry produced a score by David Pastrnak.

Perhaps of more concern, though, is the growing feeling that the Bruins aren’t all on the same page.

Marchand vaguely referenced that the Bruins weren’t prepared to play Sunday, and Tuukka Rask said he’ll no longer comment on anything except his own goaltending. Rask has always been candid and willing to be frank about any shortcomings after Bruins losses, but it appears that’s not something that is any longer welcome inside the B’s dressing room.

“I just try to go out there and give us a chance to win every night. That’s what I’m focused on,” said Rask. “I’m not going to comment anymore on team play that much. We can just talk about goaltending. That’s just the way it is. Sorry.”

Meanwhile, Krejci was similarly short in his postgame thoughts and started talking about avoiding pointing fingers after a frustrating loss.

“There’s no reason to point fingers," he said. "Yeah, we lost a game and it was a frustrating loss. But it’s just the fifth game of the season, so we don’t need to make a big deal out of it. We’re going to back to Boston, we’re going to work hard in practices and we’re going to get ready for the next game.”

Clearly, the fact this stuff is coming to the surface just five games into the season is a cause for concern. But it makes sense, given the way the Bruins are letting an easy portion of the season slip through their fingers.

In their first 10 games of the year, they're facing only one team that made the playoffs last season and they've got plenty of spaced-out stretches in the schedule to get off to a strong, healthy start. Instead they’re losing to subpar teams and highly unproven goalies, and doing so with a real lack of energy or purpose on the ice.

Certainly management would be smart to think about shipping underperforming players like Vatrano back to the AHL in place of Peter Cehlarik or Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. And a few more games like Sunday’s snooze-fest could advance trade talks for a player like Matt Duchene.

But there aren’t going to be any easy answers. It comes down to hard work and hunkering down together as a team, and Sunday’s pitifully inept loss in a very winnable situation was yet another sign the Bruins aren't even close to being there yet.

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Spooner, McQuaid injured in Bruins' loss to Golden Knights

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Spooner, McQuaid injured in Bruins' loss to Golden Knights

LAS VEGAS -- The Bruins are already missing a handful of players to injuries, and they may have lost a couple more in Sunday’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Ryan Spooner was knocked out in the second period with a lower body injury, and Adam McQuaid was lost in the closing seconds of the third period when he was hit by a Colin Miller rocket from the point in his leg. McQuaid had to be helped to the dressing room after staying down on the ice for a few long moments, and the hope is that it’s the same kind of mostly harmless “dead leg” hit that allowed Kevan Miller to bounce back immediately from his Friday incident in practice.

McQuaid was spotted up and walking around in the visiting dressing room area postgame, so hopefully it’s nothing serious with one of the few Bruins giving everything he has on the ice each and every night.

Spooner finished with just eight shifts and 6:42 of ice time while failing to generate much offense, and went 1-for-4 in the face-off circle before getting shelved for the rest of the game. He just has a single point and is a minus-3 in four games this season and is once again has been pretty hard to notice on the ice during 5-on-5 play. It perhaps wasn’t a huge loss for the Bruins, given how much Spooner has been struggling to find baseline consistency, but the Bruins can’t continue to sustain injuries to their center men without those missing bodies beginning to take a toll.

The Bruins already have Paul Postma on hand if they take any injuries on the back end, but any more losses up front could mean the B’s dip into Providence where Peter Cehlarik, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Kenny Agostino are all off to hot offensive starts.