Boston Globe reporter Matt Porter tweeted out this morning that Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron likely won’t return until game five in their best of seven series against the Florida Panthers. This tweet comes from a quote from Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. Bergeron also did not travel with the team to Florida and has not dressed in any of the first two games of the series.
Bergeron was hurt in the Bruins regular season finale against the Montreal Canadiens. While much has been made of the decision to dress so many regulars in a meaningless game, it was apparently something that Bergeron wanted to do in what could have been his final NHL game in his home province. Bergeron had been resting the week prior to the game in Montreal and was also hoping to ramp up for the playoffs.
The Bruins desperately need Bergeron to return, the 37-year-old dressed in 78 games this season and had 27 goals and 58 points. He was a force for the President’s Trophy winners throughout the season and his absence in the series with the Panthers has made Boston look beatable for the first time all season. Boston split the first two games of their series with Florida and now head into game three tied 1-1.
Porter also tweeted out the Bruins line rushes from practice this morning and it appears as though Charlie Coyle will be taking Bergeron’s spot on the first line. While Coyle is a capable NHLer, he is a sizable downgrade from one of the best two-way centers in the league. Coyle had 45 points in 82 games this season but spent most of the year playing lower in the lineup. In game three Coyle could be tasked with taking on Florida’s top unit.