By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON There is a tiny bright side for the Bruins should Patrice Bergeron be missing for the majority if not all of the Eastern Conference Finals against Tampa Bay.
The 25-year-old wasnt a huge factor on the scoresheet against the Lightning in four regular-season games largely due to his defensive responsibilities against the explosive Lightning. He had one assist in four games and was a minus-1 while otherwise getting shut down in his 17 minutes per game against the Lightning, but thats also a big reason why Marty St. Louis was held to two points and a minus-1 in four games and Simon Gagne was scoreless and a minus-5 in three regular season games against the Bs. So much for the Ghost of Gagne haunting Boston after stinging them multiple times upon returning to last years playoffs for the Flyers.But that defensive concentration for the Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand line shouldnt skip a beat with Chris Kelly filling in for No. 37 while he sits out with a mild concussion.Gagne broke Bostons heart with the third-period game-winner in Game 7 last May against the Bs and it looks like hell be ready to go after suffering a concussion during their sweep of the Washington Capitals. If its anything like the regular season, Gagne could be a virtual non-factor just as Bergeron on the offensive side of the puck for four games.On to the links: Many teams including the Bruins are salivating at the thought of Nashville defenseman Shea Weber hitting restricted free agency, but Weber says that he isnt going to anywhere but Music City next year and beyond. CSNPhilly.com writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Sarah Baicker wonders if the seven-game battle with the Buffalo Sabres took too much of a toll on the Flyers, and sealed their fate against the Bruins. Truehockey.com writer Andy Strickland reports on the St. Louis Blues beginning contract talks with Patrik Berglund on a new deal as the NHL offseason truly starts to rev up for 25 teams. An amazing ESPN.com E:60 story with Zach Bennett and a minor-league hockey team that will make you smile, cry and hold backan emotional moment. This is why sports can be special to so many people that really need some kind of escape. Pro Hockey Talk maestro Joe Yerdon has a run-down on Jaromir Jagr possibly getting ready for a homecomingwiththe Pittsburgh Penguins . . . it could happen. Brian Burkes son Patrick speaks openly and honestly with James Cybulski and Co. about the disappointing stance of Uptown Hockey Management on same-sex marriage and how understanding most of the hockey world has become. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren disputes reports that Mike Richards failed his Philly teammates and was having issues with the coaching staff through the season. Newsday has the story of the new Islanders arena project that will supposedly keep them stinking out loud on Long Island until 2045. Thats mediocre news for just about everybody. Bruce Arthur with a great column on Sean Avery, who finally may have found the proper home for his agitating nature: activism. Yahoo! Hockey blogger Puck Daddy has a great breakdown of the most intriguing match-up in the Eastern Conference Finals a couple of hockey graybeards between the pipes going at each other.