After the Boston Bruins lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks, several Boston beat writers tried to console Bruins fans by telling them it is unlikely the team would have been healthy enough to win Game 7. The latest news surrounding Patrice Bergeron has me inclined to believe them.
After the Bruins were eliminated, Bergeron revealed that he played through a trio of injuries that included a broken rib. On Wednesday, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli added that Bergeron has been in the hospital since Monday night and has a ‘small hole in his lung.’ According to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty, Chiarelli clarified that the puncture must have happened after the game because Bergeron would not have been able to play through it.
If that’s the case, that would seem to indicate the man who the Bruins refer to as the heart and soul of their team would not have been available for Game 7. That would have been a major obstacle for Boston to overcome, especially on the road.
Chiarelli also confirmed that Nathan Horton will need surgery to repair the chronic shoulder separation problem he had been dealing with since the end of the regular season. Zdeno Chara was also dealing with a “very bad” hip flexor and Dennis Seidenberg was battling a painful hamstring issue that felt “like a knife” in addition to a bone spur in his right elbow. Joe McDonald added that Jaromir Jagr hurt his head in Game 6.
To be clear, I’m not making excuses for the Bruins. Everyone is injured in the NHL playoffs, and the Blackhawks were undoubtedly battling through a plethora of injuries as well. A healthy Blackhawks team could beat a healthy Bruins team at home anyway, and they certainly didn’t need help. The point is it sounds like Boston had no chance. The loss was heartbreaking, but a win may have been delaying the inevitable.
Patrice Bergeron is known as the heart and soul of the Boston Bruins for a number of reasons. One of them is his toughness, and that quality was on full display during his team’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in what turned out to be the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night.
After the game, Bergeron revealed that he had played Game 6 with a broken rib, torn rib cartilage and a separated shoulder. The rib injuries were suffered during Game 5, when Bergeron had to leave at the beginning of the second period and did not return. However, his trip to the hospital during Game 5 had to do with concerns about his spleen, as rumored. He said the shoulder separation happened during Game 6.
“I think it was more they were worried about my spleen being hurt, that’s why I went to the hospital: check on my spine, muscles and so forth,” Bergeron said, via ESPNBoston.com. “Obviously, I would have liked to stay in there, but I was obviously going through a lot of pain.”
A lot of guys were playing through pain. Andrew Shaw took a puck to the face and bled throughout almost the entire third period on Monday night. Nathan Horton had been battling chronic shoulder separation since the end of the regular season. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa were also battling undisclosed injuries.
But it sounds like Bergeron had it the worst, and he still managed to play 17:45 on 24 shifts in Game 6 while registering two hits. It takes tremendous toughness to even skate with a broken rib and separated shoulder, let alone delivering and taking hits.
Game 6 will be remembered for the Bruins blowing a 2-1 lead with less than two minutes remaining, but the Blackhawks were the better team. That doesn’t mean they wanted it more, and Bergeron’s willingness to play through serious injuries was a reminder of that.
The Boston Bruins found a way to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in double-overtime of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night, and they likely demoralized the top-seeded Pens in the process.
The teams played nearly 66 minutes of scoreless hockey until Patrice Bergeron slipped one past Tomas Vokoun at the 15:19 mark in the second overtime. The catalyst on the goal was Jaromir Jagr, who fought Evgeni Malkin for the puck by the boards and flipped it ahead to Brad Marchand, who passed to his linemate for the winner.
It was Bergeron’s third-career playoff overtime goal.
“We found our way I guess. That’s the only way you can look at it,” said Bergeron after the game. “It wasn’t necessarily our best effort in the first 60, but I thought we regrouped well in overtime. We kept battling and we said that we had to find a way somehow, and we did in the second overtime.”
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was outstanding once again for the B’s. He stopped 53 of 54 shots he faced, though he did get lucky on a few shots, such as one by Malkin that hit the post. Despite the loss, Vokoun played well for Pittsburgh and stopped 38 of 40 shots. He bounced back after being pulled following his shameful performance in Game 2 that saw him allow three goals in the first period.
Jagr played a good game for Boston and now has three assists against the team for whom he starred for over a decade. He played aggressively and took four shots in over 26 minutes of ice time.
Now that they’re up 3-0 after taking Pittsburgh’s soul with the double-overtime win, I’d be stunned if the series didn’t end on Friday.
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Vancouver winger Alex Burrows bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron towards the end of the first period (watch the video). The NHL didn’t suspend Burrows because they could not conclude he bit Bergeron. It was hard-to-believe logic, but it paid off for Vancouver; Burrows scored Vancouver’s game-winner 11 seconds into overtime of Game 2, their first goal, and he assisted in their second. As if that wasn’t insulting enough for Bruins fans, center Maxim Lapierre mocked Bergeron during Game 2. Check out the video courtesy of Puck Daddy:
That’s just classless. Vancouver caught a break from the NHL’s decision-makers and got lucky when they know Burrows should have been suspended. It’s painful knowing a guy who shouldn’t have been playing is the one who burned you, but then you have guys like Lapierre rubbing it in to make it worse. Hopefully this won’t be the end of the story for Boston and they’ll be able to exact revenge.
Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows wasted no time acquainting himself with the penalty box in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. First he was penalized for high sticking, and then later in the period he mixed it up with Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Video replays showed that Burrows bit the finger of Bergeron in a Mike Tyson moment. Check out the video:
Burrows had already racked up six penalty minutes in only one period of hockey. Bergeron had to show the refs the bite marks on his finger on his way to the penalty box because they didn’t see it. Hopefully the NHL office will come down on Burrows for his savage action.