Bergeron 'confident' he'll be OK for start of season

Bergeron 'confident' he'll be OK for start of season
September 9, 2013, 7:45 pm
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(AP Photo)

BOLTON, Mass. – The bad news: Patrice Bergeron says there is still some “tenderness” in the area where he wrecked his ribs in the Stanley Cup Final.

“I still feel it in the rib area,” admitted Bergeron. “It’s more about rotations and when I do core stuff, but I don’t think there are any limitations in any way. It’s about pain management at this point. Time will heal it, and make it better.”

Pain management doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with Bergeron, as we all well know.

The good news: the B’s alternate captain has no doubt he’ll be ready to go when the NHL season starts Oct. 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning after having recovered from a separated shoulder, punctured lung and the assorted rib injuries. That’s a long way from being forced to sit out the first five weeks of the offseason while allowing his lung to fully heal.

“It’s been pretty good. I’ve been able to do most of my workouts. I’ve been out on the ice over the last few weeks, and I’ve felt pretty good,” said Bergeron. “I’m pretty confident that I’ll be good for the start of camp, and good for the start of the season.”

Bergeron hasn’t yet received full contact to test out the shoulder, ribs and lung injuries that are consistent with a car crash, but he did do a little battling after dropping into Bruins captain’s practice on Sunday morning.

So far, so good.

“I feel like things are moving along well,” said Bergeron. “It’s all positive right now.”

The 28-year-old Bergeron was addressing the media on Monday morning at the Bruins Foundation’s 10th Annual Golf Tournament at the International in Bolton, Mass., and was excited to see just how healthy he is when NHL camp opens on Wednesday. Bergeron and Tuukka Rask had both been part of the NHL Player Tour in New York City last week as two of the “faces of the NHL”, but now the focus goes completely to hockey.

Coming off a short summer after dropping Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in a memory that’s smeared with the pain and anguish of his assorted injuries, Bergeron was ready to turn the page.

“It should motivate us a lot. Any year you don’t accomplish what you’re there for, it should be extra motivation that helps you the next year,” Bergeron said. “The previous year was different losing in the first round, and it was a very bitter feeling knowing we could have gone a lot further.

“But last year we went all the way and came up just short. I think it hurts even more because we were so close. I don’t think it was a lot of things that made us lose that series. Chicago played well and a couple of breaks, I think, went their way and made us lose. Refocusing is important. We shouldn’t think too much about last year, but we should use it for motivation.”

The Bruins, on the other hand, will simply be looking for more of the same from a healthy Bergeron: unparalleled leadership, 20 goals and 60 points like clockwork, the league’s best face-off man and the best defensive center, even if Jonathan Toews stole the Selke Trophy out from under him last season. The fact Bergeron and Brad Marchand will likely be joined by former Dallas Stars All-Star forward Loui Eriksson on the right wing should enhance the two-way center’s game even more than in recent years.

Bergeron is looking forward to seeing how good he can make Eriksson – and vice versa – once things start coming together later this week at training camp.

“Loui is a very underrated player that’s going to help us a lot,” said Bergeron. “I’m looking forward to getting to know [Eriksson and Jarome Iginla]. I think it will be a little bit of adjustment, but they’re great players and it will be nothing but positives.”

Bergeron is also hoping it's nothing but positives for his healing body after a quick two-month recovery from his hellacious injuries, but time will tell.