WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli late Saturday morning confirmed that veteran center Patrice Bergeron sustained a ”mild concussion” early in the third period of Friday night’s series-clinching win over Philadelphia and is not expected to suit up for the start of Boston’s upcoming Eastern Conference Final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to Chiarelli, who spoke at a media briefing at the club’s Ristuccia practice facility, rookie center/wing Tyler Seguin is targeted to take Bergeron’s spot in the lineup vs. the Bolts. No telling, added Chiarelli, if Seguin will be slotted to play wing or center.
”When I spoke with him after the game,” said Chiarelli, ”he was a little despondent, but he was quite lucid, to me. But he was despondent having suffered another concussion.”
The start of the ECF will be at the Garden on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, pending the outcome of ongoing playoff series in the Western Conference. If both the Vancouver-Nashville and Detroit-San Jose series are wrapped by Sunday evening, it’s possible, though not guaranteed, that the Bruins-Bolts series would begin on Tuesday.
When asked if it were fair to assume that Bergeron would miss the first couple of games of the next series, Chiarelli said, ”I guess anything could happen, but that is the assumption I am operating under.”
Given that this is Bergeron’s third documented concussion in a span of some 3 1/2 years, his absence from the lineup could be protracted.
Nailed by then Flyer defenseman Randy Jones in October 2007, Bergeron missed the remainder of the 2007-’08 regular season and the playoffs. He was also sidelined after being concussed again midway through the following season when felled by then Canes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, now one of Bergeron’s Boston teammates.
The Bruins did not practice today and are not likely to workout on Sunday, especially if the Vancouver-Nashville series does not wrap up tonight. Vancouver holds a 3-1 edge in its series, likewise for the Sharks in their series vs. the Red Wings.
First confirmation of Bergeron’s concussion was posted on Twitter earlier this morning by GlobeKPD, some 90 minutes prior to Chiarelli’s media update.