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Bruins could sure use Patrice Bergeron right now

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game Five

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 21: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins looks on during a stoppage in play against the Ottawa Senators in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 21, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

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The Boston Bruins are off to a 2-3-0 start this season, which probably isn’t ideal considering they had two games against Colorado (they were the worst team in the NHL last season), a game against Arizona (they aren’t very good) and another one against Vegas (they’re an expansion team).

Yes, the Avalanche are improved and the Golden Knights have been better than anyone anticipated, but the Bruins were a playoff team last season. They’ve got to better.

There’s no doubt that they miss center Patrice Bergeron, who’s been out for every game of the 2017-18 season so far with a lower-body injury.

Although the team hasn’t confirmed a return date for Bergeron, it sounds like Thursday’s game against Vancouver hasn’t been ruled out yet, per head coach Bruce Cassidy.

The Bruins will play just two games over the next 10 days, so that could be a way for them to ease him back into the lineup.

Heading into last night’s game against the Golden Knights, Riley Nash was centering the top line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Clearly, if Bergeron was healthy, he’d be in that role.

Boston’s top three centers (Nash, David Krejci and Ryan Spooner) have failed to score a goal during Bergeron’s absence.

“Right now, it’s ‘Listen, he’s not in, next man up,’ ” said Cassidy, per the Boston Herald. “I know it sounds simple. But we’ve got other guys in that locker room that have to get hungry and respond to the challenge of ‘Hey, I’m getting the chance to play key minutes.’”

They’ll have a good opportunity to bounce back from their mediocre start, as they’ll begin a four-game home stand starting Thursday night. They’ll host Vancouver, Buffalo, San Jose and Los Angeles over the next two weeks.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.