BRIGHTON, Mass. — The good news is that Patrice Bergeron is back with the Bruins healthy and playing his normally heavy workload as the No. 1 center on the team.
He easily topped more than 20 minutes of ice time in each of his first three games back before scaling back to 18:47 in last weekend’s win over Florida while playing four games in a six-day span.
The 34-year-old center also revealed that he never considered surgery on the lower body injury that caused him to miss nine out of 11 games during a stretch in November and December, a notion that some pondered after fellow center Sidney Crosby opted for season-interrupting surgery last month with the Penguins.
“I’m feeling good. It’s always good when you get back on the ice with the guys,” said Bergeron, who is on pace for 29 goals and 79 points this season despite the missed time. “Things are normal. That’s why we took longer in that two-week period to make sure I was going to come back and feel good not having to miss too many practices. That said, we’re going to have to manage it as the year goes on.
“It’s been something that’s been the issue for a few years, so that’s why we we’re working on it right now.”
Has surgery ever been discussed to repair the injury?
“Nope. It’s nothing that was discussed. That’s why we took the time to make sure it wasn’t going to be an issue,” said Bergeron. “I’m happy with how I’ve felt with a back-to-back thrown in there as well. That’s a big test and I felt good.”
It’s a tricky situation for Bergeron and the B’s, because surgery would put a strain on the player during the regular season when he’s needed for a team in playoff position, but a surgical solution might also remove the lower body issues as a factor in the months of April, May and June when the Bruins need No. 37 healthy and at full strength.
Bergeron indicated that a longer absence from the Bruins lineup might have triggered discussion about surgery for what is assumed to be a chronic groin injury that’s hampered him over the last few seasons. It’s something that may come up again this season, or at some point in the future if it continues to crop up and force Bergeron to miss time during the regular season and playoffs.
But for now it’s business as usual for Bergeron, and that means two goals and three points in four games since returning from injury, and the Bruins finally snapping their five-game losing streak now that they have their forward group healthy and intact again, at least for the time being.