Bruins

Patrice Bergeron's groin injury 'still lingering a bit' with training camp days away

Patrice Bergeron's groin injury 'still lingering a bit' with training camp days away

BOLTON, Mass. — At this point there shouldn’t be any alarm bells going off, but the medical news on Patrice Bergeron wasn’t altogether encouraging either.

The 34-year-old Bruins center said that his balky groin is still “nagging him” with the start of training camp just a few days away, and Bergeron also confirmed that he needed a PRP shot over the summer to address the situation. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient's own blood platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.

Bergeron said he’s played the last few years through nagging groin problems and he’s hoping that the PRP treatment will once and for all address the situation. No. 37 said he’s not concerned about his readiness for opening night in October, and said it’s something he may have to play through for the rest of his career if the current treatment doesn’t fully alleviate the situation.

“It’s still a question where I’m not sure if I’m going to be limited [at the start of camp],” said Bergeron, who said the groin issue was also hampering him in the Stanley Cup Final against the Blues. “I feel better, but it’s still lingering a little bit. It’s been there most of the summer. I got a PRP shot in July and I’m slowly ramping it up on the ice. It’s what we’re trying to shoot for is more October than this Thursday.

“[The groin issues have] been going on for a few years now and something we talked about over the summer was being able to put it in the past. I should be able to play through it. It’s been there for a long time. With the PRP shot we hope that it’s one of those things where it takes some time for it to work. It’s getting better but it’s still there a little bit. I’m feeling good and I’m feeling positive that I’ll definitely be ready for the start of the season. That’s not even an issue.”

The good news is that Bergeron seems unconcerned about starting the season and continuing in his role as the team’s No. 1 center and most important two-way player in the lineup.

Certainly it’s a concern that the groin is bothering Bergeron after getting more than two months to recover this summer, but it’s also unclear how much is related to the time he needed to stay off the ice after getting the injection in July.

Bergeron missed 17 games due to injuries during the regular season, but still put together 32 goals and a career-high 79 points before posting another nine goals and 17 points in 24 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was pretty clear that Bergeron had been slowed a bit by the groin problems during the postseason, and he’s now missed 35 games over the last two seasons with injuries after logging some heavy miles over his 15-season NHL career.

The hope is that his current treatment will alleviate the groin issues for good, but the reality is that Bergeron might have to simply play through this nagging issue after logging 1,028 games and counting in his outstanding NHL career.

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NHL announces Bruins have won these three end-of-season awards

NHL announces Bruins have won these three end-of-season awards

The NHL announced on Tuesday the 2019-20 regular season was finished, and as a result, it became time to announce the winners of some end-of-the-year awards.

Some of the awards, including the Hart Trophy for the league's most valuable player, still need to be voted on. Most of them are voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The awards based on stats, however, already have been determined.

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Three of the awards already determined will go to the Boston Bruins. The league officially announced all such awards with a press release Thursday.

Here's a quick recap of the awards won by the Bruins.

Presidents' Trophy
The team that finishes the regular season with the best record wins this award. This is the third time Boston has won the Presidents' Trophy since it was introduced ahead of the 1985-86 season. The B's also have won it in 1990 and 2014. The team that's won this trophy usually fails to win the Stanley Cup. In fact, only nine of the previous 33 Presidents' Trophy winners went on to win the Stanley Cup that same year. However, the last time it  happened was in 2013 when the Chicago Blackhawks won both in a shortened season, so maybe there's hope for the Bruins in 2020!

William M. Jennings Trophy
The Bruins had the best goalie duo in the league with starter Tuukka Rask and backup Jaroslav Halak. Boston finished the season allowing the fewest goals allowed, which means the team's goaltenders have won the William M. Jennings Trophy. Rask led the league with a 2.12 goals against average and 85 goals allowed in 41 appearances, and Halak ranked sixth with a 2.39 GAA and 73 goals allowed in 31 games played. This is the third time (1989-90 and 2008-09 previously) the Bruins have won this award since it was introduced in 1981-82. Rask has won the award for the first time, while Halak now has claimed it twice. Halak shared it with Brian Elliott when they played for the St. Louis Blues durng the 2011-12 campaign.

Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
The league's leading goal scorer(s) win the award named after Montreal Canadiens legend Maurice Richard. Bruins winger David Pastrnak and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin both scored 48 goals and will share the trophy. Pastrnak is the first B's player to lead the league in goals since Phil Esposito, who did it in six straight seasons from 1969-70 through 1974-75. Pastrnak fell just shy of becoming Boston's first 50-goal scorer since Cam Neely in 1993-94, but he should have plenty more chances to hit that milestone in the near future. 

Other awards?
It's quite possible the Bruins could take home other end-of-the-season awards. Pastrnak has a case to be a finalist for the Hart Trophy, but it's hard to envision him winning the award over Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon or Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron should be a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which he's already won four times. Rask also is the favorite to win the second Vezina Trophy of his career.

Of course, the real prize for the Bruins is the Stanley Cup. They came so close to winning it last year, and after another dominant regular season, the Bruins are among the favorites to hoist the best trophy in sports later in 2020.

NHL Power Rankings: Are Bruins, Blues on track for Stanley Cup rematch?

NHL Power Rankings: Are Bruins, Blues on track for Stanley Cup rematch?

If and when the NHL season resumes, we'll see a Stanley Cup Playoffs unlike any postseason that has preceded it.

But when all is said and done, we could see the exact same two teams battling for the Cup as we saw one year ago.

The Bruins and Blues were both leading their respective conferences when the season was put on pause, and though it remains to be seen if Boston and St. Louis will earn top seeds, they are among the favorites to emerge from the 24 teams who are poised to return to play this summer.

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But the new format of 24 teams for the playoffs with play-in rounds, round-robins and hub cities is a total crapshoot. We have no idea what will play as big-time strengths or weaknesses once the games start getting played, and how the time off is going to impact different players.

All we can really go on right now is how the teams looked when the regular season went on pause, how they played over the first six months of the regular season and how healthy some of those teams are now with months and months for their injured guys to heal up.

So with that, let’s put together our modest power rankings of the remaining 24 teams that will proceed to the playoff round once things get going in July or August.

Click here for our NHL Power Rankings.