Patrice Bergeron’s preseason will conclude without him playing in any games, but that’s not expected to keep him out of the lineup once the regular season begins.
The Boston Bruins will open up their 2018-19 campaign Wednesday against the Washington Capitals, and all signs are pointing to Bergeron manning his usual spot in the center of the top line once the puck drops at Capital One Arena.
The 33-year-old underwent groin surgery during the offseason, with his rehab stretching into training camp. He’s eased his way back into hockey activities, and though he still was wearing a red non-contact jersey during Friday’s practice, Bergeron expressed optimism for his Opening Night status.
“It’s a lot better. I wouldn’t say it’s back to 100 percent, but it’s definitely trending that way and it’s been good,” Bergeron said after Friday’s practice, via Bruins.com “It’s good to be back with the full group obviously — first one in a while. Felt good. Overall, no issues.
” … Gonna have a few more good practices and be ready for the opener in Washington.”
As for head coach Bruce Cassidy, he stated: “I believe he’ll be ready Wednesday.”
Bergeron’s absence has allowed Cassidy to see how different centers perform on the top unit, with Trent Frederic getting the nod in Saturday’s preseason finale against the Philadelphia Flyers.
But with the regular season mere days away, having everyone back at full health is key. The Bruins have plenty of talent and are poised to try and get past the second round of the playoffs this season, and having their top-line center good to go right from the start will help get things off on the right foot.