During Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron left the ice during a penalty kill and would only play 2 more shifts before leaving in an ambulance. #37 suffered an undisclosed injury, some are calling it a spleen injury but it is still unconfirmed. Coach Claude Julien said of the injury: “It’s just an injury that wasn’t able to let him finish the game.” Julien later said there is a chance he could play in Game 6 on Monday night, “He may be in next game. I’m not going there.”
If Bergeron has suffered a spleen injury, do not expect him to return. Following the Avalanche’s dramatic series against the Los Angeles Kings in 2001, Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg suffered a ruptured spleen, which forced him to sit for the rest of the playoffs and the entire 2001-02 regular season. The Bruins cannot afford to have something like that happen to Patrice Bergeron. But with the always vague injury disclosure that is a long time occurring playoff theme, whether Patrice Bergeron has suffered an injury of that magnitude is still unknown. Forsberg had spleen surgery and was discharged from the hospital directly after entering in 2001, so Bergeron very well could have a spleen injury, but if that’s the case Claude would have disclosed it as he knows it would have kept Bergeron out and from further injury.
If Bergeron is to miss Game 6, the Bruins do have options for roster replacements. Carl Soderberg took over centering Patrice Bergeron and didn’t do a bad job, Soderberg’s whole Game 5 experience was terrific in general but his work centering Marchand and Jagr was even better. Although the three did not connect for a goal, they created good chances in front of Crawford, and earlier in the game Soderberg forced 4 turnovers in the offense zone while still on the fourth line with Thornton and Peverly. So with Soderberg taking Begeron’s spot, who will then take Campbell’s spot which Soderberg was intended to hold?
Kaspars Daugavins didn’t work out to well and it’s obvious he won’t be back. The only capable candidate in a Stanley Cup situation is Jay Pandolfo. Despite having a highly lack luster and pointless season, Pandolfo has Stanley Cup experience, winning 2 of the Devils’ 3 cups (1999-2000 and 2002-03). In 2003 Pandolfo registered a career high 12 playoff points in 24 games (6 goals, 6 assists). He’s defensive play will work well for the Bruins while Bergeron is gone, and maybe putting two veterans in Pandolfo and Jagr together for a shift or two might help boost their games.
It is unknown what option the Bruins or take; all is contingent on further updates of Bergeron’s condition. If Bergeron is not to play in Game 6, we will find out sometime tonight or in the morning-afternoon before Game 6.