TAMPA It looks like the sky isnt falling for the Boston Bruins after all.
After a few days with many around the Bs organization holding their collective breath, Patrice Bergeron was back out on the ice for Tuesday's morning skate at the Tampa Times Forum.
Many had anticipated the worst when No. 37 took a Matti Niskanen rocket off the left knee in the second period of Sundays loss to the Penguins. Bergeron failed to return to that days lineup despite repeated valiant attempts.
But Bergeron said he was hopeful that hell be able to play Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he looked perfectly ready to play, centering Brad Marchand and Jordan Caron during line rushes at morning skate. Bruins coach Claude Julien wasnt ready to pronounce Bergeron in the lineup, but he indicated that hes in the mix as a game-time decision.
Thats good news for a Bruins team that needed to call up AHL insurance policy Trent Whitfield on Monday morning just in case Bergeron couldnt answer the bell, but once again the centers toughness is shining through.
"Bergie tried but he just couldnt (return Sunday,)" Julien said. "So there was a big question mark there. The fact that he was able to be there this morning and skate with us to show that hes close . . . that was refreshing.
Well see tonight. Today was the first day Bergeron and Adam McQuaid skated and went through things, so well see how they feel after getting through the warm-up. Well make the right decision at that point. We want to play with healthy players at this point. You dont want to play them at 70 percent and then lose them for another week or two. Well make sure decisions are right no matter what the situation is.
The betting here: McQuaid sits tonight given Bostons depth at defensemen and Bergeron plays. The real answers will arrive during the warm-up skate tonight in Tampa.