Bergeron plays through oblique injury, broken nose


Bergeron plays through oblique injury, broken nose

BOSTON -- The news is finally out on the injuries Patrice Bergeron was playing through.

The Bs assistant captain suffered a tornstrained oblique early in the series against the Washington Capitals that progressively worsened as the series went on. To add injury to injury: Alex Semin broke his nose when the two collided during the second period of the Game 5 loss at TD Garden.

Bergeron gutted through the injury to continue playing in Game 6 and Game 7, but reached the point where he couldnt take face-offs in the final two postseason tilts against the Capitals. No surgery will be required to fix Bergerons muscle injury, but that didnt make it any less painful.

It will be simple rest and rehabilitation followed by Bergerons typically dedicated workout schedule this summer, but theres no question the assistant captain cowboyed up for the playoffs.

The injury sounds painful, and it was clearly wince-worthy while watching Bergeron battle through it on the ice.

I tore or strained my oblique muscle. It happened in Game 3 and it got worse in Game 5 as everybody knows. It probably limited me to about 60 percent of what I can normally do, said the stoic Bergeron, who continues to set the tone for toughness and dedication to the team with his on-ice example. It was not related to the two hits that everybody thought; the Semin hit broke my nose and that was it. I was already hurt and the Ovechkin hit just made it worse. I just couldnt even go in the third period after that.

If it was during the regular season I wouldnt have played at all. I would have taken 2 weeks off to heal and be fine. Its just one of those things where it takes time and we didnt have that.

The Selke Trophy finalist said the inability to take face-offs and the discomfort caused by the injury were challenges that took their toll over the final few games. Bergeron was able to tough it out, but indicated he wouldnt have been able to keep playing his way through it. That was the reason Jordan Caron was activated for the final two games just in case Bergeron had to finally bow out early in a game.

The Bs center did manage an assist on a Rich Peverley goal early in the Game 6 win in Washington DC, but was noticeably losing battles around the net during Game 7.
Watching Rich Peverley lose a boatload of face-offs in the offensive zone and David Krejci go only 5-for-15 in the face-off dot was difficult for Bergeron to swallow while all he could do was watch and skate his lane as a makeshift right wing.

Those things need time and rest. When you dont do that I dont think it gets worse, but it doesnt get better, said Bergeron. Its a different game. Im used to taking face-offs and it gets me going. It gets me in the game. Its different positioning-wise.

Sometimes I was going down-low, but down-low I couldnt really battle at all. I couldnt reach out for pucks and stuff like that. I needed to adjust my game and it was in my head a lot. I was trying to just not think about it, but it was there anyway. Im not the only one that goes through that stuff during playoffs. Its just one of those things.

The biggest moment when the injury probably cost the Bruins wasnt in the face-off circle, however.

Forty-five seconds into overtime Braden Holtby kicked a Dennis Seidenberg shot right at Bergeron on the doorstep, but the Bs center couldnt make a strong play on the puck with a wide open net in front of him.

Instead he feebly lofted a wobbly shot well wide to the left of the cage, and the Capitals scored a couple minutes later to take the game. There was no doubt in GM Peter Chiarellis mind that Bergeron sponges the rebound and snaps it home if he were anywhere close to 100 percent.

Bergy Patrice Bergeron, was injured, but he wont require surgery. He had a strained oblique and he was very debilitated from taking face-offs as you saw, said Chiarelli. I believe, and I dont think Bergy would ever say it, but I believe that last chance in overtime that he couldnt stretch for it because of the oblique. He was in a lot of pain.

But Bergerons also a warrior.

Everybody knew that already, but he proved it again while trying to play through something that would sidelined many others once the excruciating pain soaked through.

O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time


O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time

BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.

The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.

So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.

“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.

“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”

While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.

Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient


Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It may be strictly due to injuries or because Ryan Spooner is being moved back to third line center full-time, but Danton Heinen is going to get another top-six look on the wing. The 21-year-old Bruins prospect will be skating on the left wing with David Krejci and Matt Beleskey in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild after serving as a healthy scratch last weekend against the Montreal Canadiens.

Heinen has only two shots on goal in the four games leading up to the scratch, and has been quiet offensively after leading the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason. Clearly there’s an adjustment to be made there, and it looked like the playmaking rookie winger was starting to develop a little more confidence trying to make plays while skating with Krejci and David Backes in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Heinen actually looked reminiscent of Krejci on a couple of plays, pulling back the puck after entering the zone and catching a trailing B’s teammate with a perfectly executed lead pass on the offensive rush. That effort plus a trip to the ninth floor press box last weekend seemed to reinforce just how much time he has to make plays, and that should be a benefit for both Heinen and his linemates.

Sometimes getting that first NHL point is the hardest part when a player breaks into the league, and it’s been that way for the young winger through his first four games.

“[Krejci] is such a good player, and I just try to complement him any way I can,” said Heinen. “You never want to be up in the press box, but it gives you a different perspective on the game. It’s a different angle. From up there it looks like you’ve got way more time. I definitely think I can be more patient with the puck, and make some smarter plays.”

Heinen started to do that in his best NHL game to date prior to being scratched against New Jersey, and it resulted in greater offensive possession and a couple of potential scoring plays getting created for the B’s second line. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to actual goals, and Heinen knows that’s what needs to happen through him if a player like him, with an offense-minded reputation from his University of Denver days, is going to stick top-6 in Boston.

“You can’t rely on the [top] guys every night,” said Heinen, who watched the Habs beat the Bruins on Saturday night while essentially shutting down Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “When we’ve been out there we’ve kind of been getting some chances, but we’ve got to bear down.

“[Krejci] likes to play with the puck a lot, so you just get him the puck, go in hard on the forecheck and try to get open because he’s a good distributor.”

It sounds like a simple plan that might be a very good thing for young Heinen, who needs to start breaking through offensively if he wants to stick around in Boston for the long haul.