Bruins make plans to replace Bergeron


Bruins make plans to replace Bergeron

By Joe Haggerty

WILMINGTON, Mass. There was no real update for Patrice Bergeron as he recovers from a mild concussion suffered during the third period of Friday nights decisive Game 4 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. And there may not be one for a while.While the Bs two-way center attempts a comeback from his third career concussion, and is likely to miss the beginning if not all of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Bruins know theyve got to move on without their best all-around forward.I dont think theres much of a change here, said coach Claude Julien when asked about Bergerons status over the last 24 hours. I dont know that every day is going to be one of those questions wondering whats going on with him. I think the best thing is that we hopefully plan on updating you as we see progress.Ive texted with him. Obviously hes talked to a lot of people. Were hoping for the best here. When it comes to concussions, you think about the person first and not the player. Well deal with the situation and make the best of it. But theres no doubt wed love to have him back, but not until hes a hundred percent and ready to go.To cut Juliens words down to a Boston clich: It doesnt sound like Bergeron is going to be walking through that door anytime soon.Tyler Seguin has been consistently skating with the Black Aces on off days and getting in work with the Bruins reserves while suiting up for every pregame warm-up through the playoffs. Its all but a certainty that the 19-year-old will get the first crack at replacing Bergeron in the lineup.Seguin wasnt skating with the Black Aces on Sunday morning in a very clean indication he'll be in the lineup for the Eastern Conference finals a rarity in the NHL, where draft lottery studs normally go to teams that have turned to the golf course this time of year. Whats likely to happen is Julien will slide Chris Kelly up to center the second line between Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand, and then the trio of Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Seguin will comprise a new-look third line with perhaps Peverley or Seguin at the center spot. Seguin should also get a look or two on a power play that finally produced goals in back-to-back games at the end of the triumphant series against the Flyers.Seguin on the man advantage was something the Bruins brain trust was considering even before the injuries began hitting them hard.Kelly is excellent on faceoffs and his two-way play is the closest facsimile of what the Bruins have lost in Bergeron, but its clear the Bs will lose some offensive punch despite the fact Kelly has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) and a plus-7 in 11 playoff games this year.Chris Kelly is a good two-way player," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. "He makes strong plays and weve seen him on that other line. And his style of play is not unlike Bergys. So at first glance it looks like it would be a good fit, and watching him last night it looks like it would be a good fit.Either way, Julien said its going to be a team effort to replace Bergeron in the lineup and he likened it to the 2007-08 regular season, when the Bruins survived losing Bergeron to a severe concussion courtesy of a Randy Jones boarding penalty in the corner that put him out for all but 10 games and became a playoff team.
Julien said hed likely be putting different players in different places to make up for Bergeron's absence, which figures to be considerable. His line (Bergeron, Marchand and Recchi) is at plus-25 so far in the playoffs.
Chiarelli dealt a second-round pick to Kelly for just this scenario. He didnt want his team to get caught unprotected if it suffered a potentially catastrophic injury, like the dislocated wrist that ended David Krejcis season last year.We talked about acquiring players this year to give us some depth in case things like that happened," Julien said. "This is an opportunity for our depth to come up and replace a guy . . . who is extremely valuable for our team. Bergeron is our best faceoff man by far and probably one of the best two-way players in the league.You dont replace a guy like that easily, but as a group you have to do it. I go back to four years ago when we lost him for the year. Everybody kind of came together and tried to compensate for that. Thats what we are going to have to do again if he is not with us.It certainly wont be easy against the explosive Lightning, who are getting healthier just as the injury bug has bitten Bergeron and the Bruins. But everyone should get a better look at Bostons strategy when player practice resumes Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena.Things arent going to be perfect with Bergeron back in the dark world of concussions, but this Bruins team has already proven its more resilient than previous editions in many, many ways.Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 


Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.