BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (concussion) will be examined again Monday afternoon by the team’s medical staff, and there’s a possibility he could return to the lineup Monday night when the team hosts the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden.
Bergeron has missed the last six games after he suffered his fourth career concussion against the Senators on April 2 at Boston. He began skating with the team last week and did so again this morning, while centering Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin. Bruins coach Claude Julien said he’ll wait to hear from the medical staff before the team makes the final decision.
“It’s just making sure we’re all on the same page,” Julien said. “He’s been feeling a lot better the last few days and seems to be doing extremely well, but when you’ve been through what Patrice has been through, we’re always going to make sure to be extra safe with him even if it takes a little extra time.”
Bergeron said he was cleared to play Saturday in Carolina, but the team thought it would be best to give him some more time for precautionary reasons.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I feel like I’m close.
“I obviously want to get back out there. I feel good. I feel confident. I don’t feel cautious, either. We’re taking the time and there’s a reason for that, so I’m not hesitant and I feel good.”
The Bruins will clinch a playoff berth with their next point, so there was some thought, based on the condensed schedule and the amount of games the Bruins have played, to give Bergeron a little more time in order to be rested and healthy for the playoffs.
“Why wait any longer if everything is A-OK and there’s no issues, nothing that can happen that will be able to go back and say he came back too early,” Julien said. “We’re just making sure everything is clear. He’s a smart individual and he’s a person who thinks things through and he’s also not going to take a chance with his career. It’s a mutual thing we have going between him, ourselves as an organization, and that’s the way we’ve treated every player and we’ll continue to do that.”
The Bruins are 3-3-0 during Bergeron’s absence.
“We miss his leadership, his work ethic and everything else,” Julien said. “He’s a good player and he’s an elite player. You don’t replace him, so what you miss is what you can’t replace.”
This is Bergeron's fourth career concussion, but this time the symptoms lasted only one day and it’s been different from the other three.
“I’ve healed a lot quicker and I’ve felt better a lot quicker, so that was good news,” Bergeron said. “We took the time for precautionary reasons. I had a little bit of symptoms the next day after it happened, but after that, that was it, so it was very positive.”
Bergeron was more annoyed than anything else the day after his incidental collision with the Senators’ Colin Greening on April 2.
“A little bit of that, that’s for sure,” Bergeron said of the frustration. “It’s one of those things that’s always hard to go through. I’ve had enough of it, but at the same time I was optimistic by the way I felt and the Bruins did a really good job making sure I was taking the time to heal properly.”
In 35 games this season, Bergeron has 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points, including a plus-23 rating.