Bergeron (lower body) 'hopeful' to play vs. Bolts

Bergeron (lower body) 'hopeful' to play vs. Bolts
March 12, 2012, 8:32 pm
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TAMPA BAY Patrice Bergeron would only say that his injury was to his "lower body injury," and that hes "hopeful" hell be able to suit up and play Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bruins invaluable two-way center was injured when he blocked a Matti Niskanen shot in the second period of Bostons 5-2 loss to the Penguins Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Bergeron gamely tried twice to return to the game prior to exiting the game for good after one shift in the third period. It was unclear whether the puck struck his knee, ankle or foot and Bergeron wouldnt specify the location of the injury.

It was good news for the Bs to simply pronounce Bergeron was day-to-day when many feared the worst after he was unable to return to an important game on Sunday, but he may miss a game or two at the very least.

Boston has called up Trent Whitfield on emergency recall from Providence in case Bergeron is unable to play.

Bruins coach Claude Julien called Bergeron a question mark for Tuesdays game against a Lightning team thats seven points out of the playoffs while mired into a three-game losing streak. Its pretty clear the Bruins would be up a river without a paddle if No. 37 was out for a prolonged period, but thats not the case.

Bergeron will be a game-time decision, I guess, and well reevaluate him tomorrow, Julien said. Daniel Paille is still day-to-day and a possibility to play. Pouliot, we dont know yet and hes day-to-day. McQuaid is banged up and day-to-day. The only major injury we had was Sauve and we sent him back to Boston this morning.

The rest of the players are all with us because its day-to-day situations.

Adam McQuaid is similarly a question mark after appearing to injure his shoulder in a collision with James Neal, and Max Sauve was sent back to Boston on Sunday after suffering an injury in the hip area that forced him onto crutches leaving the CONSOL Energy Center.

Sauve got hit. I think it was more of a hip-area injury and he was limping pretty badly, said Julien. He left the arena on crutches and it looked like he was going to be out for awhile, so we just sent him back.

Meanwhile Paille inches close to a return from his upper body injury and may be able to suit up against the Lightning on Tuesday after missing the last four games. It sounds like there will be a number of game-time decisions for Julien and Co. when the players take the ice for pregame warm-up at the Tampa Times Forum tomorrow night.

The injuries are all coming at the same time and theyre all coming at the end of the season, so you have to wonder if theyre fatigue-related, said Julien. But any team that plays 22 games in their last 40 games is going to be subject to those kinds of injuries. We have to be careful about that and find our rest.

Bergeron stands atop all the rest in terms of importance and impact on the hockey club. The pivot may miss a game or two at a time when the Bruins are searching for answers amid prolonged struggles, but thats a lot better than the broken-boned alternative.