|Bergeron (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) |
The Bruins Patrice Bergeron
, shaken up by a hit by Philadelphia's Claude Giroux, had left the ice early in the third period of Boston's series clinching 5-1 victory in Game 4 and did not return.
On Saturday morning, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed the earlier suspicions of the press when he said that Bergeron had suffered a "mild concussion."
"He went into the quiet room after being hit, was assessed by our doctors, took the NHL modified SCAT 2 test and he was deemed unable to return," said Chiarelli. "But what I am told is...that the concussion is mild.
"I have not heard about him today; I think he was still sleeping earlier this morning.
"So that's where that stands," he said.
Bergeron did not go to the hospital and Chiarelli said the center was lucid, but "despondent having suffered another concussion."
Reporters asked Chiarelli about the legality of the Giroux hit.
"I thought it was a shade late, but it's in that area where when it's at full speed, it's tough to tell," said Chiarelli. "I did have a brief discussion with the league on it.
"It was a tough one to gauge at that speed and especially at this level of competition.
"So I will leave it at that," he said.
Clearly it's hard overstate the impact of Bergeron's possible loss to the line up (Chiarelli agreed with the assumption that his center could miss a couple games), but Chiarelli thought Tyler Seguin
would get a shot to fill in.
"It's a discussion that we've had with the coaching staff and in our group, and we will have it again over the weekend," he said. "We feel he deserves a chance and he's been working actually quite hard in practice and we will see where he fits in in the line-up.
"He pays close attention to the game, to the plays within the game as they would impact him if he were playing," said Chiarelli of Seguin's watching the playoffs from the press box. "So I mean, he's using it as a good tool, he's also, as I said earlier...I've been watching him in practice and his on ice and his off ice has been outstanding, so he has kept sharp.
"Now, having said all that, it is hard to parachute someone in, especially a young player like that. So we will see how he does. But he certainly deserves a chance."
And the B's will do their best to move forward into Round 3 with-or-without Bergeron.
"Yeah, whenever you take someone like that out of the line up...you are missing a key character component, a key leadership component," said Chiarelli. "But what I have seen from this team toward the end of the regular season, and especially after the first two games against Montreal, is that there has been a real kind of growing, bonding -- chemistry -- I guess for lack of a better word. And there are guys who have been stepping up.
"I've heard, I won't mention names, but some of the guys have been stepping up in the room and I think you will fill those voids with those guys."
But the loss of Bergeron would be felt deeply when the B's face off against the talented, hard-working Tampa Bay Lightning.
"He is more confident physically," said Chiarelli. "Most nights he has extra jump in his step and when he does that he is attacking with the puck rather than just dishing.
"Yeah, he has been really good."