In the rust vs. rest debate that always rages this time of year, the Boston Bruins will accept a bit of rust to get some much-needed rest.
Boston finished off its second-round series on Friday night, completing a stunningly efficient sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-1 victory.
But revenge against the Flyers for last season’s historic comeback -- Philadelphia erased a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Boston lead in Game 7 to advance -- came at a pretty stiff price for the Bruins.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid injured his neck in Game 2 when he crashed awkwardly into the end boards. More importantly, second-line center Patrice Bergeron suffered an injury later diagnosed as a mild concussion in Game 4.
Clearly, those players will take all the time available to get healthy for the third round against Tampa Bay, which advanced with its own four-game sweep of Washington, completed Thursday night. Boston also has older players -- forward Mark Recchi and goalie Tim Thomas -- and players logging a ton of minutes -- like defenseman Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, both of whom are averaging more than 28 minutes a game -- who will be happy for some downtime.
It appears McQuaid will be healthy for the start of the series, which will likely start sometime late this week.
"McQuaid should be back for the start of the series," Boston coach Claude Julien said during a Sunday press conference. "Things are looking really good for him."
Things are not looking quite as bright for Bergeron, who has a history of concussions.
Bergeron suffered his injury in the opening minutes of third period after absorbing a heavy hit from Claude Giroux. Bergeron was able to skate off the ice without aid, but he did not return to the game. The Bruins have no idea when Bergeron could return to the lineup.
"You guys know he’s got a mild concussion, so I don’t think there’s much of a change here," Julien said Sunday. "I don’t know that every day is going to be (an update on) what’s going on with him.
"We hopefully plan on updating you as we see progress here."
After taking Saturday and Sunday off, the Bruins started preparing for Tampa Bay with a Monday morning practice.
In that practice, rookie Tyler Sequin was inserted into the lineup, playing on the third line with center Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder. Chris Kelly, the other forward on that line, moved into Bergeron’s spot on the second line.
McQuaid also practiced, as did youngster Steve Kampfer, who is returning from a knee injury suffered late in the year with Providence of the American Hockey League.