No surprise here – Patrice Bergeron will play in Game 7. Bergeron didn’t practice today but will be in the Game 7 lineup between Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley.
The main question, however, is whether Shawn Thornton or Jordan Caron will dress as the 12th forward. After warmups on Monday, Claude Julien told Thornton that he would sit and Caron would make his playoff debut.
The Bruins needed Caron’s flexibility in case Bergeron couldn’t fulfill all his duties. Had Bergeron been limited in Game 6, Peverley would have moved to center, while Caron skated as the No. 2 right wing. In that position, Caron would have been a better fit than Thornton.
“I don’t give a [expletive] this time of year,” Thornton said of being scratched. “Whatever helps the team. Me and Claude had a good talk about it. It was a decision that was made. I fully support it. It’s not about me at this time of year. It’s about wins and losses. I joked that I wish he would have told me before I had my six coffees and two Sudafeds. It’s tough to watch a game when I get that wired. I was OK with it. Whatever it takes.”
The bet here is that Thornton will be back in the lineup for Game 7. Assuming Bergeron hasn’t had any setbacks since Game 6, he should be expected to take regular shifts, although he might be limited on faceoffs. Peverley would remain on Bergeron’s right side.
Thornton, Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell played critical roles in the last Game 7. While their teammates were struggling to find their legs in the first period against the Canucks, the fourth line held the fort.
* Mike Mottau took most of the shifts in practice alongside Greg Zanon. Mottau could be in the lineup for the second straight game in place of Joe Corvo.