Wilmington, MA --
|Philadelphia Flyers' Riley Cote (32) and Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton (22) fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, in Boston. (AP Photo.Michael Dwyer) |
In the locker room on Monday, the bottom line of conversation was that the Boston Bruins have to take on the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
But there was a reminder nearby -- an empty locker #37 -- that made sure that the Black & Gold understood what could be at stake during every professional hockey game and how much the squad lost to an overzealous hit.
"Bergy is the heart and soul of our team," said policeman Shawn Thornton
through gritted teeth. "I think the guys really tried to rally around him.
"I think we played hard and wanted it for Bergy.
"We focused on trying to get the win, but unfortunately it didn't turn out the way we wanted."
Now that focus (and frustration) falls on the Sabres.
"It's a huge test," said Shawn. "They are a good team, in the division, and those are the games that can make or break you come April.
"We have to be ready and we have to get two points."
Until then, Bergeron's teammates will have to pick up the slack.
|Phil Kessel in action Hockey Fights Cancer |
"It's a tough situation when a play like that goes down," said sophomore forward Phil Kessel. "And hopefully (Bergy) is back (soon)…and is his old self."
Veteran forward Glen Murray said that the main thing was that his young teammate was going to be okay.
"Obviously we don't need hits like that, but it happened," said Murray. "Hopefully he is back very soon.
"It's weird to say, but (on Saturday) we had to go back to work and try and get a win. But obviously we were thinking about Bergy."
Knowing that, Bruins head coach Claude Julien told his players that they had to channel their efforts into their game.
"Our whole mentality after that was that the best way to get back at them was by beating them," said rookie Milan Lucic
. "I think we had a strong effort on Saturday.
"But again, we can be happy with the effort, but we can't be satisfied."
Considering the feeling in the room, anything less than 100% on Thursday won't be acceptable.