After playing back-to-back games over the weekend, the Bruins and Capitals will get two days to recover before finally deciding their opening-round series in Game 7 on Wednesday night at the Garden. And after six physical and intense games, both teams have plenty of bumps and bruises to try to heal over the next couple days.
"Let's not kid ourselves — they're not that healthy, either," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Monday at the Garden. "At this stage of the series, there's always guys that are banged up. These optionals or certain guys staying off [the ice] are not always optional. We know that game, and it's played by everybody. But I think both teams can benefit from that [rest]. It will certainly make for a much better Game 7."
Julien kept all of the Bruins off the ice on Monday, giving everyone a well-deserved break with just some off-ice meetings and treatment for any injuries.
The Bruins do have some serious injuries to be concerned about beyond the minor ailments every player deals with this time of year. Patrice Bergeron suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 5 on Saturday but played through it in Game 6 on Sunday.
The standout two-way center, who was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy for the league's top defensive forward on Monday, did have some limitations, as he was not able to take faceoffs. Still, Julien had no complaints about the effort Bergeron gave the club Sunday.
"I thought we got a lot out of him yesterday, personally," Julien said. "I think he was a good player. I didn't see anything besides him just not taking faceoffs. There was no restrictions. There's no doubt any time off is good for any player that may not be at 100 percent. But he's fine, guys. Again, the type of player that he is, he's working through it. To me, I didn't see a difference in the player at all as far as his play was concerned. The only difference you saw was him not jumping into that circle to take faceoffs."
Bergeron was less committal about his condition on Monday, but he left no doubt about his availability for Game 7.
"I feel like I'm looking forward to Game 7 and I'm getting ready for it," Bergeron said when asked how he was feeling.
Bergeron did take one draw in the game, when he was caught on the ice with no other centers after a Bruins icing call. With 1:02 left in regulation in a tie game, Bergeron stepped up to win a key defensive-zone draw before the Bruins went on to win 4-3 in overtime to force Wednesday's Game 7. On Monday, Bergeron declined to answer if he felt any pain taking that one draw.
Bergeron did admit that the two days off should do him some good.
"I think we're all going to benefit from it," Bergeron said. "We're all going to take the time to rest and get ready for Wednesday and Game 7. That's all we think about."
While Bergeron played Sunday, defenseman Joe Corvo sat out after being injured while blocking a Marcus Johansson shot in Game 5. Julien was optimistic about Corvo's condition, but there is still no progress on fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid, who has missed the entire series with an upper-body injury.
?As far as Joe is concerned, I think he's going to be fine," Julien said. "McQuaid is still at the same spot he was before we left on the road."