BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins suffered through more than their share of injuries in the regular season and so it was during the Stanley Cup playoffs as well.
At the top of the list were B’s knocked out in playoffs. Torey Krug is expected to be in a boot for two months after his left ankle was fractured in Game 4 of the Tampa Bay series and David Backes suffering a concussion after getting hit in the jaw by a J.T. Miller body check in their Game 5 elimination loss in Tampa.
- MORE HAGGERTY - Bruins not likely to find goaltending upgrade to Rask
Krug clearly would have been out for the rest of the playoffs with his injury had the Bruins somehow advanced and Backes guessed that he would have missed the rest of the Tampa Bay series. Backes, 33, said he was still experiencing some concussion symptoms as he spoke to the media on Wednesday morning he and treats them cautiously now that he’s had a handful of concussions in the NHL.
“I have good moments and other moments not so great, but I’ve got some time to recover now, unfortunately,” said Backes. “It’s never great to have a brain injury, but it is part of what we do. With time to recover and not be forced into a game in short order or not have a repetitive injury, it’s the best case for me to get back to full health and get ready for next season.”
There were also a number of Bruins players fighting through nagging injuries in the postseason: Patrice Bergeron had a groin injury crop up late in the season that had bothered him earlier as well and might have to consider surgery this offseason it if doesn’t completely improve with some rest.
“It’s a little groin issue that will go away on its own hopefully. It was in one of the last practices in camp that I pulled my groin, and then it was an issue after that for a long time. It went away [for a while] and then it came back in the playoffs. Hopefully, it’s rest and rehab, but it might be surgery if it doesn’t go away,” said Bergeron. “We all know there’s a lot of things going on [with injuries] and it’s a long year, and playoffs are the same thing with a lot of guys battling through [injuries]. It’s the same for any other team whether it’s us, or the four teams remaining in the next round. You’ve got to battle through it, and that’s just the way it is. It isn’t easy, but it tells you a lot about the character that’s in this locker room.”
- MORE BRUINS - Five things that went wrong for B's vs. Lightning
Bergeron also said that he sat out Game 4 in the first round as a precaution with concussion-like symptoms, but said in hindsight he believed the symptoms were associated with a bad head cold he was battling at the time as well.
Rookie Jake DeBrusk was playing through a sprained AC joint in his shoulder for the playoff run while admitting it was pretty painful at times, Riley Nash has been battling through a hip injury since February that may or may not need surgery along with a concussion suffered ahead of the playoffs after he took a puck to the side of the head.
“I didn’t feel like I quite got my legs under me before I started [playing] in the playoffs. It’s another learning experience for me,” said Nash of coming back from the concussion. “I’m getting [my hip] looked at because I don’t know what’s going on down there. It’s been happening for about three months or so.”
Zdeno Chara is mulling surgery for an upper-body injury thought to be a shoulder injury suffered in March in the comeback against Carolina and something he played with through the entire postseason.
“We all play through different things. I’m not going to make excuses. We all play through some bumps and bruises,” said Chara. “I want to take the time to heal and get ready for next season. We are still in the period of trying to avoid [a surgery] and definitely taking a little time [to assess things]. It’s an upper body [injury].”
- MORE HAGGERTY - Young B's gained valuable playoff experience
Noel Acciari was playing with a sports hernia for most of the season and said that he will definitely be headed for offseason surgery after it compromised his skating explosiveness. Brad Marchand was playing through a groin injury in the final four games against the Lightning in the second round, but expected it to heal with plenty of rest for the remainder of the offseason.
Clearly, with the number of banged up Bruins finally allowed to come clean as they cleaned out their dressing room lockers on breakup day, the B’s would have been hard-pressed to push on for another month of playoff hockey. It again makes you appreciate the toughness level of hockey players in general and how they take it to a whole other level at Stanley Cup playoff time.