By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON It was an encouraging first step, but thats all it was at this point in time for the Bruins. Two-way center Patrice Bergeron skated lightly with the Black Aces on the TD Garden ice around 9 a.m. Saturday morning, and took the first small step toward potentially returning to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Bergeron has been out eight days with a mild concussion suffered in a collision with Flyers forward Claude Giroux, and the 25-year-old must have enjoyed a rapid recovery. The Bruins use a uniform protocol for concussion and there must be seven day absence of concussion symptoms before a player is allowed to engage in physical activity.A source close to the team told CSNNE.com that Bergeron would attempt strenuous skating or raising his heart rate prior to the teams departure for Tampa on Wednesday and theres a real possibility barring any setbacks the valuable center could return around Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Lightning.Chris Kelly said that Bergeron had a little bit of a sweat going when he saw the center in the Bs dressing room following the skating session, but Bs coach Claude Julien downplayed Bergerons activity level.He went out and had a light skate this morning, said Julien. Thats where hes at right now. It was just a light skate on his own. This is something thats just protocol. Hes going through the normal stuff. He just got off the ice and we went on.It goes without saying, however, that any setback in Bergerons progress would likely rule him out for the series, and could very well take place given the centers history of three concussions in the last 3 12 years.Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.
The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.
“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”
McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”
That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.