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Report: Patrice Bergeron to play in Game 3

05.19.11 at 2:01 pm ET
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TAMPA — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron will play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning after missing the first two games with a mild concussion, according to a report by ESPN.

Bergeron, who suffered the mild concussion on a hit from Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, participated in the team’s morning skate Thursday at St. Pete Times Forum, doing drills and taking faceoffs as the B’s prepare for Game 3 with the series tied, 1-1. Coach Claude Julien said that Bergeron is “feeling pretty good” and is “getting real close,” but said that a decision on whether Bergeron is ready for game action will be made either Thursday or Friday.

“He’s still day-to-day,” Julien said. “Until I’m told that he’s cleared — he obviously had to skate this morning, and we had to see what’s going on — all of this is protocol stuff and everything else that goes with it. I don’t want to elaborate more.”

Julien said prior to Game 2 that if Bergeron skated in warmups, it would be an indication that he was playing. The coach offered the same message Thursday.

“If you see him out there in the warmup tonight, I’m not just sending him out there for a skate. He’s going to be playing,” Julien said of Bergeron who leads the Bruins in playoff scoring with two goals and 10 assists in 11 postseason games.

Brad Marchand hoping to see Patrice Bergeron play, preparing for end of the world

05.19.11 at 1:54 pm ET
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TAMPA — While there’s been no official word on whether Patrice Bergeron will be in Thursday’s lineup, but one player who would benefit from the concussed center’s return would be rookie winger Brad Marchand. Skating on a line centered by Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley in Games 3 and 4 of the conference finals, respectively, Marchand has had subpar showings (a minus-3 rating this series and just one shot on goal) and would like to turn it around.

“It’s always different when you play with different guys. We’ve had a different centerman the last two games,” Marchand said after Thursday’s morning skate. “It’s a little tougher getting used to chemistry and where the guys are on the ice.”

During the Montreal series, Marchand spoke about how inspiring his linemate in Mark Recchi was for him. Given that the rookie plays on a line with two assistant captains, Bergeron has had a similar influence. Marchand said Thursday he can recall the first time he realized how great a presence Bergeron is for him.

“It was a long time ago. I remember we had a training camp or development camp one time. It was right after his concussion, and he came out and I was battling with him in the corner,” Marchand said. “I just realized how strong he was on the puck, and how difficult it was to take the puck from him. From that point forward, I was like, ‘I want to be like that — play the same way, work on that and add that element to my game.’ I remember that very clearly, and from that point forward, I wanted to play more like him.”

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Kudos to Herald columnist/Sports Sunday host/old-time baseball aficionado Steve Buckley for bringing up the end of the world around Marchand. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, some nutbars are claiming that the world will end on May 21, 2011. Marchand was the perfect player to mention it to, as it caused a really funny couple of minutes with reporters and the rookie wise-guy.

“It’s been nice knowing you guys,” a surprised and disappointed Marchand said when told of the news.

Given that the Bruins are playing a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday, the world could end (according to this theory) while the B’s are playing. Talk about getting off to a good start in the game — the B’s will at least want to be winning when the world ends.

“It would be a great way to kind of end the world on a high note and with a lead,” Marchand said. “Maybe get the win tonight, and we’ll be able to die happy people.”

And if they’re losing?

“If we fall behind, it won’t matter anyways,” he said. “I’d much rather die with a lead though.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron,

Lightning trying to ‘stop’ Tyler Seguin, Claude Julien wishes they’d stop ‘flattering’ Bruins

05.19.11 at 1:31 pm ET
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TAMPA — Nobody — even the biggest “play Seguin at all costs” crybabies — could have expected what Tyler Seguin has done in the Eastern Conference finals.

Since making his playoff debut in Game 1 of the conference finals, Seguin has had six points (3 G, 3 A) and has gone from an injury replacement to a big problem for the Lightning in a matter of six periods.

‘€œThe first two games, it’s clear the players and everybody underestimated his speed,” Tampa coach Guy Boucher said of Seguin. “That’€™s the main thing. His speed is obviously a weapon for him and his team. Being a young guy and having success right away, it certainly takes a lot of the nervousness away, and for us we know he’€™s going to be on the ice and we have to be able to keep up with his speed.’€

The praise from the Lightning wasn’t limited to Boucher, as one player who knows Seguin’s style better than most said the team needs to find a way to prevent the rookie from taking over another game like he did in Game 2 (2 G, 2 A). Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin

Don’t expect more ‘pond hockey’ between Bruins and Lightning for Game 3

05.19.11 at 1:19 pm ET
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TAMPA — Steven Stamkos may only be 21 years old but he certainly can articulate like a crafty and well-versed veteran in the ways of winning playoff hockey.

He also proved Thursday morning in the hours before Game 3 at St. Pete Times Forum that he was playing close attention to what his coach was preaching and teaching during film analysis of the Game 2 loss to the Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden.

After the game Tuesday, Guy Boucher spoke of how his team got into pond hockey and lost the race. He told his players in film study that he didn’t want that to happen again, even if it means giving up some scoring chances that came from desperate hockey in the third period.

“I don’t think for us there is a fine line,” Stamkos said. “I think that line doesn’t exist. We don’t want to play that run-and-gun pond hockey. That’s not our structure. That’s not how we’ve won games this year. At the end of the day, we had a lot of scoring chances, probably moreso that any other game we’ve played, maybe all year, but we didn’t win the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Martin St. Louis, Michael Ryder

Milan Lucic misses morning skate, but will play Game 3 vs. Lightning

05.19.11 at 1:08 pm ET
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TAMPA — Bruins forward Milan Lucic was not on the ice for Thursday’s morning skate at St. Pete Times Forum, marking his second straight absence from a morning skate after getting hit on the right foot by a Tyler Seguin shot in Monday’s practice. Despite whatever discomfort Lucic may be feeling, coach Claude Julien confirmed after the skate that the team’s regular-season leader in goals will be in the lineup Thursday night vs. the Lightning.

“There’s no issues,” Julien said of Lucic. He’s going to be in tonight. “During the playoffs, there’s certain things you do, and you give guys time off for whatever reason. He’s going to be in there, and there won’t be any excuses to his game at all. ‘€¦ There’s very minor issues when it comes to that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Mark Recchi, Milan Lucic

Claude Julien says Patrice Bergeron is ‘getting real close’ to returning to game action

05.19.11 at 12:51 pm ET
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TAMPA — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron participated in the team’s morning skate Thursday at St. Pete Times Forum, doing drills and taking faceoffs as the B’s prepare for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Lightning.

Coach Claude Julien said that Bergeron is “feeling pretty good” and is “getting real close,” but said that a decision on whether Bergeron is ready for game action will be made either Thursday or Friday.

“He’s still day-to-day,” Julien said. “Until I’m told that he’s cleared — he obviously had to skate this morning, and we had to see what’s going on — all of this is protocol stuff and everything else that goes with it. I don’t want to elaborate more.”

Julien said prior to Game 2 that if Bergeron skated in warmups, it would be an indication that he was playing. The coach offered the same message Thursday.

“If you see him out there in the warmup tonight, I’m not just sending him out there for a skate. He’s going to be playing.”

In 11 games this postseason, Bergeron has two goals and 10 assists for 12 points.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs,

P.J. Stock on D&C: Let’s see how Tyler Seguin reacts on road

05.19.11 at 10:57 am ET
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TSN and Hockey Night in Canada analyst and former Bruin P.J. Stock joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to preview Game 3 of the Bruins-Lightning Eastern Conference finals series. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

When asked if he thought coach Claude Julien waited too long to insert 19 year-old Tyler Seguin into the lineup, Stock said he did not have a problem with the coach’s decision. “No, not at all, and you know what? He probably wouldn’€™t be in there without [Patrice] Bergeron being injured,” Stock said. “I watched him play a lot during the year, and many times I thought he wasn’€™t ready.

“A lot of people are excited about his last two games, but 30 games ago were people saying the same thing? He was a frustrating player that was learning a lot of things. … I didn’t know if he was ready.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, PJ Stock, Shawn Thornton

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