Bruins, Claude Julien Not Worried About Patrice Bergeron’s Leg Injury


Nov 30, 2009

Bruins, Claude Julien Not Worried About Patrice Bergeron's Leg Injury Both center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Matt Hunwick missed practice on Monday, but according to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, there is no need for Bruins fans to worry.

“Hunwick is just going to miss [Monday] and he’ll be back on the ice [Tuesday],” said Julien. “Bergie, the same thing. He’ll be in Wednesday. No ifs or buts. It’s just maintenance. Is it due to the other day? Yeah."

Bergeron suffered an apparent leg injury in the first period of Saturday night's 4-3 shootout win over the Senators. He was helped off the ice, missed a few shifts but eventually came back and played the remainder of the game. But if the injury had been worse — and it looked as if it might be — some critics were questioning that maybe the Bruins' best player currently shouldn't be on the penalty kill blocking shots.

The ever-controversial and well-watched Don Cherry did just that on his most recent "Coach's Corner" segment on Hockey Night In Canada.

“How many times have I said, don’t have your stars blocking shots and killing penalties?" Cherry asked co-host Ron MacLean as they went over the highlight of Bergeron's injury. "Mike Milbury said at the start [of the show] that he’s their best player. Look at him. That’s their best player and they’d already lost Marc Savard — their first-best player — blocking shots. The Bruins have got the guy killing penalties and blocking shots. How stupid can you be, and that’s coach of the year, Claude Julien? He could have had a broken foot. You never have your stars killing penalties.”

Chances are that Julien heard about or watched Cherry's critique, and when asked by a reporter after practice Monday if he felt "lucky" that Bergeron wasn't going to miss any games, Julien immediately pointed out that blocked shots are part of the game.

“It is what it is, guys. It’s the game of hockey, where there are a lot of shots taken," Julien said. "A lot of shots blocked in this game today. That’s what most teams do. You just have to look at the sheet at the end of the night. The amount of blocked shots in this game is unbelievable. I don’t think he intended to block the shot that way. He slipped and when he tried to regain his balance that’s when he got hit. It wasn’t a matter of recklessness. It was just an unfortunate situation.

"Anytime you’ve got a player back that wasn’t seriously injured, it’s a fortunate thing in this game today," Julien added. "There are tons of injuries around the league. Broken feet and other things seem to be common these days.”

Defenseman Dennis Wideman said pretty much the same thing and credited Bergeron for his willingness to block shots and play so many roles.

“When he blocked a shot and he doesn’t get up it makes us worried,” said Wideman. “But you need your best players doing stuff like that, and Bergie is a guy that does that on a night-in, night-out basis. He blocks shots, he hits, he scores, he works hard. Those are the guys that win.”

As far as Bergeron's injury and the seemingly constant parade to the injury list for Bruins players, no one is feeling sorry for themselves in the Bruins dressing room.

"It's nothing new really," goaltender Tim Thomas pointed out. "It's happening everywhere around the league and it's part of the game. We've been through a lot in a short period yes, but we've had to deal with it a couple seasons ago as well. So you just adapt and battle through."

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