By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Patrice Bergeron was on the ice practicing with his Bruins teammates on Monday morning for the first time since suffering a mild concussion 10 days ago against the Flyers.After practice, coach Claude Julien answered "no comment" and then "I don't know" when asked if Bergeron had been ruled out for a return in Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning."We're going through the proper protocol of what he has to go through," said Julien. "When he is ready to go, I think you guys will know it. It's something that you can't predict how quickly, or how slow, it's going to be. We're not ready to make any comments because he's going through the stages."
Bergeron wore a white practice jersey and skated with Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand when he did get out onto the ice at points during the 45-minute practice after taking part in some power-play drills. But he also left the practice ice before battle drills and work down low took place at the end of the session.
The Bruins are obviously sensitive about Bergeron's return from a concussion after enduring a similar saga with Marc Savard during last year's playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, and Savard ended up suffering a recurrence of concussion symptoms. Savard hasn't been the same player since, and it's clear the Bruins are practicing extreme caution when it comes to Bergeron.
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BOSTON -- The Bruins won’t have David Krejci (lower body) in the lineup for Game 6 as they look to stay alive in their first-round series against the Ottawa Senators.
Krejci was knocked out of Friday night’s Game 5 double-overtime win after a knee-on-knee hit from Chris Wideman in the first period that set off the Bruins when the Ottawa D-man reportedly chirped the injured Bruins center.
With Krejci out, one might have expected Ryan Spooner to replace him given Spooner’s power-play capabilities and his offensive upside in a top-6 role. But Bruce Cassidy will go with Matt Beleskey while moving around some of the pieces in his lineup. Beleskey hasn’t played since taking a couple of penalties in the Game 2 loss to the Sens in Ottawa, but the hope is that his heavy forechecking ability can have the same kind of impact Sean Kuraly had Friday night.
“Beleskey will go in and we’ll move some things around,” said Cassidy. “It’s become much more of a down-low grind game offensively for us, and that’s his strength. He can get on people, get on pucks, win battles and get to the net. So he should be afforded an opportunity to play to his strength. This is going to be less of a line-rush game, so now the people that are going in are more suited to that: [Noel] Acciari, Kuraly and Beleskey.”
It could also benefit the Bruins from a veteran experience perspective as well as Beleskey has a well-established big game reputation during his playoff stints with Anaheim. He popped in eight goals during a 16-game postseason stint with the Ducks just prior to signing a big free-agent deal with the Bruins two seasons ago.