The fallout from the loss of center Patrice Bergeron goes beyond his steady, two-way influence and his abilities as a playmaker on the Bruins' second line.
Bergeron, who suffered a mild concussion in Friday night's series-clinching win against Philadelphia, did not practice yesterday and will miss Saturday night's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Garden.
Bergeron leads the Bruins in scoring this postseason with 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 11 games. The loss of that element of Bergeron's game is obvious. But the B's will miss him most in the faceoff circle and on the penalty kill, where he was a consistent performer all season long.
The Bruins gave up eight power-play goals in 41 situations, and that number could have been higher (especially against Montreal) without Bergeron winning draws in the Bruins end. In the final three games against the Flyers, Bergeron won a total of 45 faceoffs.
"You can't replace Bergy, especially on the (penalty kill), because he is such a big part of it," said center Chris Kelly, who likely will replace Bergeron on the second line with Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand. "One of the luxuries we do have is that we have guys that can kill penalties and do a good job. But Bergy does it so well, especially in our end."
Without Bergeron, Bruins coach Claude Julien's three best options at forward on the penalty kill are Kelly, Marchand and center Gregory Campbell, with Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on defense. Centers Rich Peverley and David Krejci possess the speed and stick skills in the faceoff circle to chew up minutes, but others will be called upon to work the PK.
Bruins hope Bergeron's absence no killer
Boston Herald | May 11