Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

What's wrong with Patrice Bergeron?

Ty Anderson
April 20, 2018 - 3:53 am

So just when did Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy learn that Patrice Bergeron was not going to be at his disposal for a series-swinging Game 4 in Toronto?

“Just before gametime," Cassidy offered following Boston's 3-1 victory, which sends this series back to TD Garden with the Bruins holding a 3-1 series lead. "As we said, he had an upper-body we were managing, and he wasn’t able to go. We’ll classify it as day-to-day,  and hopefully he’s better and ready to go Saturday.”

This is an injury that the Bruins have apparently been managing for "some time," and one that Cassidy obviously doesn't seem to view as something ultra-serious. If it were, he would admit it, or the B’s would simply go with a more damning injury designation (something like week-to-week versus the day-to-day they've opted to run with here).

But what exactly happened to Bergeron, who looked relatively healthy with three shots on goal in over 21 minutes of action this past Monday, to knock him out of postseason action? After all, this is the same player that's previously played through a separated shoulder, punctured lung, and 'minor' injuries such as a torn groin and broken ribs. I mean, anything short of a ‘Celtic Pride’ style kidnapping (Leaf fans are absolutely weird enough to pull off something like this) or wild boar attack would probably seem worthy of people questioning Bergeron’s dedication to professional hockey in 2018.

Well, given the fact that this has been labeled an upper-body injury and not the lower-body injuries Bergeron battled through for two different absences this past regular season, NESN did some digging and found this clip from Monday’s Game 3 loss.

It’s certainly something, but it also doesn’t seem to line up with the B’s timeline.

If this is injury is something that they’ve been dealing with for a little while, one would assume that it didn’t happen on Monday, but rather hit a breaking point then.

The Bruins seemingly operated with this mindset of managing Bergeron’s mysterious ailment during Wednesday’s practice, too, giving Riley Nash some reps between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, meaning that they entered Game 4 with the idea that No. 37 could sit.

Bergeron also opted not to participate in Thursday’s optional morning skate, and was not on the ice for the Black and Gold’s pregame warm-up, either. That is not a great sign if you’re one of these people assuming the worst -- such as a concussion, of which Bergeron has had three documented in his NHL career, the last coming in 2011. (This would be similar to how the Rick Nash situation played out with the Bruins last month, as Nash was suddenly unavailable and held off the ice for nearly a month.)

Of course, it’s all mindless and reckless speculation until Bergeron speaks, and even then it will surely remain unknown under the incredibly vague ‘upper-body’ designation. 

But it's a question with an answer that could very well hold the key to the Stanley Cup hopes of the Bruins. 

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