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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Phil Esposito set impressive Bruins goal scoring record on this day in 1971

Phil Esposito set impressive Bruins goal scoring record on this day in 1971

March 31 is a special day in the history books of the Boston Bruins franchise.

Hall of Fame forward Phil Esposito scored his 70th goal (an NHL record at the time) of the 1970-71 season on this day, becoming the first Bruins player to hit that goal-scoring milestone.

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Check out the graphic below for more information:

Esposito's 76 goals in the 1970-71 season still stand as a Bruins record for a single campaign.

Bruins right winger David Pastrnak was making a run at 60 goals earlier this season. The 23-year-old star currently sits at 48 goals with the season suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Pastrnak is tied for the league lead with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

If the 2019-20 season doesn't resume or the league decides to go straight to the Stanley Cup Playoffs upon returning, Pastrnak would be the first Bruins player to win or share the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer since Esposito in 1974-75.

Tuukka Rask 'hasn't made any decisions' on his long-term Bruins future

Tuukka Rask 'hasn't made any decisions' on his long-term Bruins future

Tuukka Rask finally addressed an interview he gave weeks ago where he mused about retiring at the end of his current contract following next season, and brought a little more clarity to the situation.

The 33-year-old Bruins goaltender was on the Greg Hill Show on WEEI on Tuesday morning and made it clear no decisions have been about his future beyond the 2020-21 season that he’s still signed for in Boston. Rask was on track for a Vezina Trophy-level season this year when things were put on pause due to the coronavirus outbreak and was leading the NHL with a 2.12 goals against average while ranking second in the league with a .929 save percentage.

So it’s clear that Rask has still got more than one or two good years left if he wanted to keep on playing in Boston beyond his current deal.

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“Listen, I remember the interview if you can even call it an interview. This [Boston Globe] reporter asked me some questions right after practice when I was packing my bag, and all I said was my contract’s up (in 2021) so every option is on the table,” said Rask. “I haven’t made any decisions on any direction yet, obviously we’re not even playing hockey right now, so that’ll be in the future. But it’s definitely not in my mind right now, just trying to take care of the family now and go back to hockey whenever that happens and then go from there.

“I’m sure we’re going to have good conversations with (Don Sweeney) after this season and go from there. But I’m only 34, so it’s not too old, might play another year or two and go from there. I don’t want to promise anything either way because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Given the high level that Rask is currently playing at, his current $7 million per season contract wouldn’t be an outrageous ask without knowing how the current coronavirus work stoppage is going to impact the overall salary cap picture.

Clearly nothing is set in stone and perhaps the retirement talk is as much about contract leverage the next time around as anything else. But it still puts the Bruins in a tough position following this season if they don’t have any certainty when it comes to the future with Rask. They could re-sign Jaroslav Halak to an extension following this season and continue to hope to ride things out with a great goaltending duo while shelling out nearly $10 million for both goalies.

But the Bruins may also need to quickly groom a new No. 1 goalie if Rask is a question mark for the long-term future in Boston. Halak certainly doesn’t feel that guy at this point in his NHL career while in his mid-30s as well.

That may push the Bruins to install Dan Vladar, Jeremy Swayman or Kyle Keyser as Rask’s backup for next season to evaluate exactly what they currently have inside the organization should things change drastically.

Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to Rask’s future in Boston. But even with his mild assurances that nothing is set in stone, the Bruins will have to be prepared that it’s not a lock the No. 1 goalie will remain with the Bruins beyond his current contract.