|Bruins center Patrice Bergeron played entire season with sports hernia||04.25.17 at 7:48 pm ET|
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has long shown a willingness to play through almost anything. He did it in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks, where he suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung but kept playing, he did it again last year when he played through a considerable ankle injury to finish his season.
And this season was no different, according to Bergeron.
“We’re going to go through physicals today, but I’ve been going through a sports hernia all year,” Bergeron said on the club’s break-up day today at Warrior Ice Arena. “With the schedule it was definitely something that was nagging and was there for most of the year. But the breaks in the second half definitely helped make it feel a lot better.”
Bergeron did miss the first three games of the season because of this injury, which at the time was dubbed a lower-body ailment, and it would appear that the injury happened somewhere between the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and the end of the B’s training camp. In fact, it likely happened in the club’s final practice before the season began, as Bergeron hobbled off the ice at Warrior and did not reappear until his season debut on Oct. 20.
The injury obviously limited the 31-year-old Bergeron in a number of ways — he had just 12 points through the first 36 games of the year, and experienced a 11-goal and 15-point dip from his 2016 numbers — but No. 37 was still proud of the way that he and his team battled to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
“We’ve shown a lot of character, we’ve battled,” Bergeron said. “It’s been three years now that we’ve been really battling to get into the playoffs, and this year we came through, and it definitely gives us a lot of confidence looking forward, as well.”
Bergeron, a Selke Trophy finalist, is unsure if the injury will require surgery this offseason.
|Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo confirms he missed postseason with a concussion||04.25.17 at 6:26 pm ET|
Both the Bruins and first-year pro Brandon Carlo knew that they were better safe than sorry with the health of the 20-year-old defenseman.
Knocked out of action on the final day of the regular season on a hit from Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin, Carlo confirmed what it was that ailed him and ultimately kept him out of all six of the B’s first-round playoff tilts against the Senators this month.
“I was diagnosed with a concussion and just going through the protocol with that I was trying to be safe with it,” Carlo, who skated in all 82 regular season games this year, admitted. “There’s a point where you kinda have to worry about the next 20 years rather than this year.”
Carlo did, however, give it a go at various times during the series, as he skated on his own during many of the club’s optional days or early practices, but confirmed that he was never quite symptom free.
“It was really disappointing. I really wanted to be out there, and it was hard to watch,” Carlo said of his recovery attempts. “But at the same time, I feel like the guys handled it very well and the guys who came up and filled those positions played very well.”
Although he was not well enough to play before the season’s end on Sunday, Carlo did feel part of this playoff run even from just being with the team on a daily basis, and noted that he has continued to improve in the last few days, mentioning that he was feeling pretty good though he was still getting past ‘a couple of little things’ along the way.
The Colorado Springs, Colo. native also said that this is not the first concussion of his career.
“One little one [before], this one was a little bit different,” Carlo said of his concussion history.
“I’m just trying to make sure I’m being smart with it.”
The 6-foot-5 finished his first season with six goals, 16 points, 88 shots on goal, and a plus-9 rating. His 20:48 of time on ice per game also ranked third among Bruins skaters and was the sixth-highest among NHL rookie defensemen.
|Charlie McAvoy’s Bruins emergence will stand out as bright spot of postseason||04.24.17 at 11:14 pm ET|
A six-game series loss is not a success. It’s a failure by its very definition. But when the Bruins eventually look back on this year’s first-round loss to the Senators, they won’t recall it as the series that had more letdowns, injuries, and penalties to count, but rather the city’s first look at the future promise of defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
Thrown into the fire of the Stanley Cup Playoffs thanks to injuries that sidelined half of the Boston defense corps, the 19-year-old McAvoy was not a disaster. He did not need to be sheltered. By the third game, the 14th overall pick from just a summer ago looked more than ready, and it really only got better from there in terms of his consistency.
And as the opening round of postseason play came to a close last night, McAvoy’s 157:09 of time on ice in the series ranked as the seventh-most among playoff defensemen. His 26:11 of ice time per night was the 10th-most, and the three assists he tallied over the course of his six-game baptism by fire were the fifth-most.
It was long before Erik Karlsson embraced McAvoy in the post-series handshake line that you knew that McAvoy was real.
|Video: Bruins players react to season-ending Game 6 loss to Senators||04.24.17 at 1:52 pm ET|
The Bruins’ season came to an end with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 at TD Garden. We got some reaction from players. Watch below. (Video courtesy Josh Dolan.)
|Bruins proud of themselves despite first-round exit, as they should be||04.23.17 at 10:28 pm ET|
On the surface, squeezing into the playoffs and losing a first-round series against a mediocre Ottawa Senators team doesn’t look like much to be proud of. But head coach Bruce Cassidy is proud of his team and Bruins players are proud of themselves, and they should be.
We’ll never know what a healthy Bruins team could’ve done this postseason (the guess here is beat the Senators and maybe beat the Rangers in the next round), because we didn’t get to see it.
They didn’t have Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo, two of their top three defensemen, all series. They lost Adam McQuaid, another regular defenseman and regular penalty-killer, early in Game 2.
A fourth regular defenseman, Colin Miller, missed two games due to injury. Second-line center David Krejci missed the first two games, didn’t look like himself when he returned, then got hurt again early in Game 5 and missed the rest of the series.
Those aren’t excuses for losing the series; they’re legitimate reasons (among others) for losing it. We can debate just how much those injuries hurt the Bruins, but there’s no question they did hurt.
“I think it was apparent to everybody that we weren’t at full strength, and guys had to step up, and we talked about it,” Cassidy said. “Other guys got an opportunity. I thought they did very well. So yeah, I’m proud of the guys’ effort from Feb. 9 on. We put ourselves in a position to be here in the first place. I think we played well enough to have the opportunity to advance, but they made a few more plays than us. Every game could have went either way. So, I’m proud of the players.”
What the Bruins should be proud of is how guys stepped up and made this a competitive series despite the injuries. Guys made mistakes (seriously, stop shooting the puck over the glass) and the team as a whole hit some tough stretches, but it really never looked like the Bruins were lacking effort.
Obviously the biggest positive in terms of guys stepping up was defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who made his NHL debut in Game 1, played huge minutes throughout the series and more than held his own as a top-pairing defenseman.
But there was also Kevan Miller and Joe Morrow, who stepped into top-four roles, played far more minutes than they did in the regular season and helped the Bruins’ defense perform better than anyone probably expected. Read the rest of this entry »
|Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy ‘absolutely’ wants to return next season||04.23.17 at 10:20 pm ET|
Chalk it up to bad luck if you want, but there’s no doubt that the Bruins were a dead team walking and en route to their third straight playoff miss when Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien in February.
Still, the decision to give Cassidy the keys to the Bruins and for his first NHL coaching gig since 2003 was a risk and a half for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, but one that ultimately paid off as Cassidy helped lead the Bruins to an 18-8-1 record to finish the regular season and to their first playoff berth since 2014’s Presidents’ Trophy season.
And while the ending was not one that the Bruins wanted, as the Senators eliminated them by way of a Game 6 overtime win at TD Garden on Sunday, Cassidy has his backers in the Boston room.
“The results speak for themselves,” Bruins forward David Backes said of Cassidy’s tenure. “We were climbing uphill when he took over and we made our way in. It wasn’t easy. We had to streak some games together, we lost a couple that we really needed, and in the end we were really pull together as a group.
“I don’t know how you make an argument against [keeping him].”
Under Cassidy, the Bruins scored the fourth-most goals in the NHL (91) and allowed the second-fewest goals against (62).
As Backes said, the results did the talking in regards to Cassidy’s future in Boston, but he himself pumped the brakes when asked about any changes that the team will have to make for more success come this time next season.
“That will be determined going forward by management whether I continue to be the head coach and what players will be here will be determined by management. So, it’s a tough question to answer,” Cassidy said. “I think we scored some goals this year. We were good on the rush as well and the power play, we’ve gone back to February, and we were always a good forechecking team.”
As for if he wants to be back, Cassidy made it known with his final postgame question of the season.
“Absolutely,” Cassidy said without hesitation when asked if he wants to return as the coach next year. “100 percent.”
|Video: Ty Anderson, Scott McLaughlin discuss Bruins’ Game 6 loss, what to make of season||04.23.17 at 9:15 pm ET|
The Bruins’ playoff run came to an end Sunday with 3-2 overtime loss in Game 6 against the Senators. WEEI’s Ty Anderson and Scott McLaughlin broke down the game and discussed the Bruins’ season as a whole and whether or not it was a success. Watch below.