- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien did not rule out Patrice Bergeron for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, telling French-speaking media on Sunday that he was "encouraged" by the news he received on the injured forward.
A source close to Bergeron told ESPNBoston.com he is optimistic that the 27-year-old would be able to play Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks, while a team source said there are "still questions" about whether Bergeron will be available.
Earlier Sunday, Julien told English-speaking media that Bergeron is "day to day" with a "body" injury after exiting Game 5 in the second period with an undisclosed injury. After being taken to a Chicago hospital for observation, Bergeron flew back with the team to Boston on Sunday.
"Well, again, what does day to day mean?" Julien asked rhetorically when a reporter tried to pry details on Bergeron's status. "I don't know if he'll skate tomorrow -- he may. And that's what day to day is. Again, I'm trying to be as clear as I can here."
Julien then was asked how Bergeron's spirits were.
"Was that the question you asked [Brad Marchand] because he said he looks dashing today in his suit," Julien said jokingly. "He's a guy that's day to day, and day to day is really good news to me anyway."
All kidding aside, the Bruins realize what they'll be missing if Bergeron can't play in a do-or-die Game 6 at TD Garden. Bergeron has been outstanding for the Bruins in the playoffs with nine goals and 15 points, including two game-winning goals.
"He does everything right, basically," linemate Marchand said prior to Julien's news briefing. "He's such a great face-off guy and it really gives us the opportunity to start with the puck a lot. He's very tough to play against defensively, and he's been doing a very good job at playing against their top guys."
As goalie Tuukka Rask pointed out, there will be no replacing Bergeron, but the Bruins must collectively move on and rally together should the star center not play in Game 6.
"You don't replace him," Rask said Sunday. "You adapt and play a different game out there. We can't feel sorry for ourselves if he's missing. We just have to play with the guys that we have."
The Blackhawks may be missing their best two-way player and captain, Jonathan Toews, who left Game 5 with an upper-body injury. Toews is progressing, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday.
Chicago realizes how critical Bergeron and Toews are to their respective teams and their absences could have.
"Both great players. I think any coach in the league, any player in the league would like to have those guys on their team," Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp said. "I can't speak for what Boston is dealing with, with Bergeron. I know I don't need to say much about Jonathan. I think everyone knows what we think of him in our locker room."
ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald contributed information to this report.