Patrice Bergeron ‘Hopeful’ of Playing Tuesday in Tampa As Bruins Continue to Deal With Deluge of Injuries


March 12, 2012

Patrice Bergeron 'Hopeful' of Playing Tuesday in Tampa As Bruins Continue to Deal With Deluge of InjuriesMaybe at this point, Claude Julien could just save time and list the players on his roster that are still healthy.

The Bruins added three more names to their ever-growing injured list during Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh, and were fortunate not to add a fourth. After arriving in Tampa on Monday, Julien offered some updates on the condition of his banged-up squad while preparing to continue the club's road trip with a clash against the Lightning on Tuesday.

The most vital player among the latest batch of injuries is center Patrice Bergeron, the club's top all-around forward and a key contributor in all situations. He left Sunday's game early in the second period after being hurt blocking a shot by Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Bergeron did not return, but the Bruins appear to have dodged a bullet. X-rays were negative and Bergeron, one of just four Bruins to play in every game this season, might even be able to keep that streak intact.

Julien told reporters in Tampa that Bergeron would be a game-time decision.

"We'll reevaluate him [Tuesday]," Julien said.

Bergeron told reporters he was "hopeful" of playing against the Lightning.

Adam McQuaid, who suffered an upper-body injury hitting James Neal in the first period, is more doubtful for Tuesday, with Julien categorizing the defenseman as day to day.

Max Sauve, the third Bruin injured on Sunday, wasn't as fortunate. He suffered a hip injury in the second period of his NHL debut and left the rink in Pittsburgh on crutches.

On Monday, Sauve was sent back to Boston, with Julien noting that, "He's done for a while."

The news was better for Johnny Boychuk. He was shaken up on a hit from behind into the boards by Penguins star Evgeni Malkin in the third period. Boychuk returned to finish the game and is reportedly OK on Tuesday. Malkin was given a two-minute minor for boarding on the play, but received no further discipline from the league.

As for the club's previous injuries, Julien noted that winger Daniel Paille is "still day to day and a possibility" for Tuesday after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury, while Benoit Pouliot, out the last two games with a lower-body injury, remains a question mark for Tuesday.

"We don't know yet," Julien said of the forward's status.

"They're all banged up," Julien added. "The only major we had [Sunday] is Sauve. He's gone back. He left [Monday] morning. We sent him back to Boston. The rest are still with us because they're just day-to-day situations."

To help fill the void, the Bruins recalled veteran Trent Whitfield under emergency conditions on Monday. Whitfield, 34, is a 14-year pro who has been serving as Providence's captain. Whitfield last played in the NHL in the 2009-10 season, appearing in 16 regular-season and four playoff games for the Bruins.

He's a bit of a curious selection with Carter Camper and Josh Hennessy available after decent showings in recalls last month, but Julien may be more comfortable using a veteran with more experience like Whitfield, who has played 193 career games in the NHL.

"We're banged up," Julien said. "We've got a lot of question marks going into [Tuesday's game]. If we can't have certain guys playing, then he is available to us. I have no idea whether he'll be in the lineup or not. It will depend on our situation. He's been with us before. I thought he was a real good player for us a few years ago when we had a lot of injuries in the playoffs. He's got a real good work ethic. He's got some experience in this league and right now I think that's what we need."

What the Bruins really need is a break from this constant stream of injuries, and to get some of their regulars back in the lineup as they seek to end a two-game losing streak and snap out of a longer malaise that's left them just 12-14-2 in the last two months.

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

Previous Article

Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez Lead Tight Ends on Bleacher Report’s NFL 1,000 List

Next Article

Luiz Adriano Misses What May Be Easiest Goal-Scoring Chance in Soccer History (Video)

Picked For You