Bergeron returns to ice for brief skate
Yesterday morning at TD Garden, for the first time since suffering a mild concussion May 6, Patrice Bergeron hit the ice.
Prior to the team’s morning skate, the Bruins center pulled on his blades for a brief solo spin.
“Just a light skate this morning,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “That’s where he’s at right now. Light skate on his own.’’
The Bruins have been tight-lipped on Bergeron’s condition since he was thumped by Claude Giroux in the third period of Game 4 against the Flyers. However, the Bruins would not have given Bergeron the green light to skate unless his post-concussion symptoms had waned.
Bergeron has been unavailable for comment since suffering the concussion, the third of his NHL career.
“This is something that’s just protocol,’’ Julien said. “He’s going through the normal stuff. Today was a light skate on his own.’’
The Bruins will continue to monitor Bergeron’s recovery. If he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, he could be cleared for more skating. Bergeron has yet to practice with his teammates. It is unlikely Bergeron will be available for Game 2 Tuesday even if he continues to progress.
Bergeron attended last night’s 5-2 loss. During the 8-Spoked Salute to honor military personnel, Bergeron appeared as part of the ceremony. Bergeron gave a thumbs-up to the crowd, which roared with approval.
“He seems to be recovering pretty well right now,’’ said linemate Brad Marchand. “I don’t know how it went. Hopefully it went well.’’
Last night, Chris Kelly replaced Bergeron on the second line between Marchand and Mark Recchi. Kelly had two shots in 16:55 of ice time and went 10 for 17 on faceoffs.
Bergeron’s absence was felt all over the ice. But nowhere did the hole seem bigger than at the dot. The Bruins lost 41 of 67 draws. David Krejci went 3 for 18. Bergeron has won 64.2 percent of his postseason draws.
Remembered fondly On Oct. 27, 2006, Todd Fedoruk learned the hard way how painful an encounter with Derek Boogaard can be. With one thundering right hand, Boogaard caved in the left side of the Anaheim forward’s face. The following day, the Ducks recalled Shawn Thornton from their AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine.
Had Fedoruk been wiser than to challenge Boogaard, who was then with the Wild, Thornton might never have established himself as an NHLer, to say nothing of winning a Stanley Cup ring later that season.
“He’s partially the reason I’m in the NHL,’’ Thornton said. “He broke Fedoruk’s face in a fight. That’s what gave me my chance.’’
From one tough guy to another, Thornton paid his respects to Boogaard, who was found dead in his Minnesota apartment Friday. He was 28.
“There’s a lot of guys who do this job,’’ said Thornton, who fought Boogaard Oct. 23. “He was definitely at the top of the list of guys you really didn’t want to run into. If you had to, you had to. That’s our job. But he had the potential to hurt you.’’
Boogaard was limited to 22 games this season with the Rangers. On Dec. 9, he suffered a concussion during a fight with Ottawa’s Matt Carkner and didn’t play again.
Before signing with the Rangers last summer, Boogaard played for the Wild for five seasons. In 2009-10, he was teammates with Shane Hnidy.
“It’s really tough,’’ Hnidy said. “It hit me hard last night when I first heard.’’
Mixing it up In the first two playoff rounds, Tampa Bay’s opponents had a beast of a time finding the right matchups against the Lightning’s star attackers. In the first round, Pittsburgh tried to deploy defensemen Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang against Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, and Martin St. Louis. In the second round, Washington’s top pairing of John Carlson and Karl Alzner skated against the Stamkos line.
But Lightning coach Guy Boucher has always mixed his lines to prevent power pairings from rubbing out his go-to stars. Boucher is planning to pull a similar trick this round to keep Zdeno Chara from neutralizing Stamkos, St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier.
“I don’t want my top players to sit on the bench because of matchups,’’ Boucher said. “In the end, your top players have to play against their top players. There will be some matchups. We don’t have much control over it here in Boston. Therefore, everybody has to be ready to play against Chara and everybody else.’’
Of Tampa’s three primary gunners, only St. Louis scored a point last night. He assisted on Marc-Andre Bergeron’s power-play goal in garbage time. Lecavalier led all Lightning forwards with 18:09 of ice time.
Seguin is in Tyler Seguin made his NHL playoff debut last night. Seguin became the first player since 1993 to appear in a conference final the year after being drafted among the top five. The last was Darius Kasparaitis for the Islanders in 1993. A year ago, Seguin was taking final exams and concluding high school life in Plymouth, Mich. Seguin was also preparing for the NHL combine. By his recollection, he added 7 pounds between the end of his junior season and the combine . . . The Bruins went 0 for 4 on the power play with only four shots. “I thought our execution could certainly have been better, especially on those entries,’’ Julien said. “We had some rims, and at one point, the puck went past three of our guys. Guys have to be better in those areas. We know that. If we do our job properly, I think we’re going to have success.’’