By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON – For the second straight game, Patrice Bergeron will sit out for the Bruins with a sore groin. Bergeron says he initially pulled the groin during the Olympics, and then “blew it out” during last Sunday's gold medal game against the U.S..
The 24-year-old is making steady progress from the injury, and is still firmly in the “day to day” category, making him potentially available for Saturday afternoon's tilt against the New York Islanders.
"I felt okay this morning," said Bergeron. "It didn’t feel great, but it felt better. It’s day to day and we’ll see what happens after talking with the trainers and doctors. But I don’t think you’ll see much tonight."
Bergeron also suggested that the injury may have resulted from having to adjust to playing short shifts in the Olympics. He was only playing five or six minutes a night for Canda, and said it was a challenge to stay “warm” on bench without taking a regular shift.
"It was okay and obviously not playing so much you get cold," he said. "I went out there for a PK and completely blew it and tweaked it. Obviously in a gold medal game you don’t want to say too much and keep it going, but you want to stay healthy for the Bruins as well.
"I need to be ready for the playoffs as well, so I told Donnie and it was unfortunate. We’re trying to heal it with a big stretch coming up, and I’m trying to heal it for the long run."
Bergeron was one of seven Bruins who took part in this morning's optional skate.
LUCIC STILL HURTING
Milan Lucic has been one of the team's most consistently disappointing performers over the course of this season, but it’s not for lack of effort.
The big power forward has battled a broken finger that required surgery and a left high ankle sprain this season, and that’s been a big reason why the Looch Ness Monster hasn’t made many appearances. The board-rattling hits have been few and far in-between and Lucic’s offense has been way down in a season where the speed and explosion are less than they’ve been in the past.
Lucic has only five goals and five assists in 29 games for the B’s, with a minus-9.
The left-winger has been busted down to the lower six forwards given his offensive shortcomings and his uncharacteristic play, and not even the two weeks off were enough to properly heal his injuries.
Teammate Marc Savard is sympathetic to Lucic's situation.
“[Lucic] has had a tough season and so have I,” said Savard. “I don’t know how many of you guys have gone through a high ankle sprain, but it’s one of the toughest [injuries]. You guys don’t realize it, but he keeps stinging it all the time. It’s tough.
“Especially for a guy that uses his power and feet for running into guys, and then he falls back and there’s another tweak. There are a lot of things that go into it where he’s not 100 percent. He’s going to give us what he has, but I think he’s going to need a whole summer to rest that leg.”
*Newly acquired Dennis Seidenberg was in the B’s dressing room and will skate in a pairing with Zdeno Chara against the Maple Leafs tonight. Seidenberg will wear No. 44, which apparently isn’t going to be retired in honor of Aaron Ward.
*Tim Thomas was the only goaltender on the practice ice for the B’s this morning, but he’ll be in net after Tuukka Rask suffered a lower-body injury, as first reported by NESN.com. It’ll be Boston’s 11th attempt to get a win on the Garden ice since a 4-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Dec. 30.
Interesting sentiments from Toronto coach Ron Wilson, who coached Thomas in the Olympics.
"I hope I get to see him play in a game against us," said Wilson, in the unique position of openly campaigning for the opposition to use a specific goalie against them. “I don’t want to go through a whole year while only seeing him play 10 minutes in a game all season long.”
*Tomas Kaberle said that he was approached about potentially waiving his no-trade during yesterday’s deadline, and might have been willing given the potential to play for a Stanley Cup contender. That being said, Kaberle is the longest-tenured Leafs skater by a country mile and didn’t appear to be too worried he was going to get traded.
Kaberle wouldn’t confirm if the Bruins were one of the teams working to get
Tags: bruins, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask, Marc Savard, Joe Haggerty, Patrice Bergeron