BUFFALO, N.Y. — Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson returned to the ice with the Bruins this morning, skating with the team for the first time since the players came back from winning gold and silver at the Olympics in Russia.
Both players admitted that they’re suffering from jet lag, and said they were unsure of how they would feel for tonight’s game, which will start at 4:30 a.m. Sochi time.
Asked if he was ready to go to sleep at noon, Bergeron said, “Yeah, I am.”
“I’m going to have to battle through it,” Bergeron continued. “I don’t know exactly how I’m going to feel, but we’ll see. I’m just going to try to do whatever I can to help and be good tonight and see how it goes.”
Bergeron, who won his second gold medal in Sochi, said that it was a different experience for him than in Vancouver, when he played a small role as the team’s 13th forward, mostly on the penalty kill and on faceoffs. That was not the case in Sochi, where he was one of the team’s most important players and spent time playing on a line with Sidney Crosby.
“It was great,” Bergeron said, of playing an increased role in Sochi. “It’s something that made it even more special, I think. Vancouver was amazing to win and to be there, be part of the experience and get the gold medal, but every time you have a chance [to] help even more the team win it makes you feel a little better about yourself.
“That was a great experience from day one to the last day. It was something very special, something I’ll never forget, and I’m very happy and proud of the way we’ve all done it.”
For Eriksson, who won a silver with Team Sweden, the Olympics could prove crucial down the stretch. The forward has not really been able to get into a rhythm this season, suffering two concussions that have cost him 20 games.
“I thought so,” Eriksson said. “I thought it really helped me to go over there and play a lot. It’s fun games to play too, when you get to the quarters and the semifinals. It’s important games. I’ll take a lot of things with me from that and go on from it.”