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Patrice Bergeron returns to practice, doesn’t participate in contact drills

The delusional (but easy) thing to do is to blame the Boston Bruins’ dispiriting 5-2 Game 1 loss on the absence of two-way center Patrice Bergeron. It would require quite the leap to imagine that things would have been different if he brought his faceoff skills and versatility to the table, but there’s little doubt that the team hopes he’ll return as soon as possible. As long as he is ready to go, that is.

He still seems to be at least a few strides from a return, but he took another step in the right direction today. Joe Haggerty reports that Bergeron returned to practice Monday morning, commenting that “all in all [it was] a good step for the center.”

Haggerty reports that Bergeron skated with Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand when he did practice, wearing a white jersey that made it that much clearer he wouldn’t be involved in full contact drills. That was indeed the case, as Bergeron left “before battle drills and work down low took place at the end of the session.”

Many Bruins fans probably hope that he can return by Game 2 Tuesday night, but it might be a bit much to ask that the concussed playmaker will return 11 days after the injury. The Bruins seemed to indicate that he has a way to go, with Claude Julien saying that there “isn’t much to update” regarding Bergeron’s status.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of the team’s leading playoff scorer as he tries to work his way back from that mild concussion. Keep in mind that these situations are often fluid; things look better today, but they can go up or down as he tries to return.