Patrice Bergeron, concussed on Saturday for a second time in a little over a year, remained home at his downtown condominium today, surrounded by his parents, who drove down from Quebec City as planned on Sunday to celebrate the NHL Christmas break with their 23-year-old son.
According to Bergeron's agent, Kent Hughes, the hard-luck center isn't likely to comment to the media for a few days, opting instead to spend a quiet week with his parents and hope that his all-too-familiar symptoms dissipate quickly.
''He's laying low,'' said Hughes, who spent time with Bergeron Saturday night, in the hours after the collision, as well as on Sunday when Bergeron was released after overnight observation at Mass. General Hospital, ''and I guess you could say he's probably frustrated.''
Bergeron was in the midst of his 12th shift of the afternoon on Saturday when he met up with the onrushing Dennis Seidenberg as the Canes defenseman lugged the puck through the neutral zone. After seeing his season come to an end last Oct. 27 due to a Grade 3 concusssion, Bergeron on Saturday, playing his 31st game of the season, looked active and sharp, much more resembling his pre-injury form.
As Bergeron converged from Seidenberg's right, and Boston right winger Chuck Kobasew from his left, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound blueliner straightened his stance as he came to the mid-ice redline. As Seidenberg pulled up, the oncoming Bergeron, intent on trying to strip the puck, inadertently drove the left side of his face smack into Seidenberg's padded shoulders.
NHLers typically wear hard-shell padding on their shoulders, which not only protects their own bones but also can serve to smack their opponents.
''One of things [Bergeron] said to me was, 'Geez, I felt it was my best game so far','' recalled Hughes. ''He just started to feel like he was getting into it. So something like this--mentally, physically and psychologically--it makes the timing of it really tough, and I think that makes his frustration pretty understandable.''
The Bruins confirmed on Sunday that Bergeron suffered a concussion in the collision, which means he must miss at least a week, in accordance with standard NHL protocol.
Based not only on his severe (Grade 3) concussion last year, but also on the club's conservative approach in his return from that injury, it's highly unlikely that he would suit up again until early- or mid-January at the earliest.
''Really, there is no way to guage that, or predict,'' said Hughes. ''With my experience with other clients, as well as Patrice, I've learned that it's impossible to predict the recovery process.''