Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed earlier today that Patrice Bergeron suffered a mild concussion after after taking a hard open-ice from Claude Giroux early in the third period of last night's series-clinching 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Bergeron was clearly shaken up on the play, skated to the bench, went down the tunnel, and never return to the bench for the remainder of the game. Bergeron is expected to miss the start of the Bruins Eastern Conference Finals series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. A timeline for his return is unknown. Chiarelli expects that rookie Tyler Seguin will play in place of Bergeron to start the series.
This is the third known concussion of Bergeron's NHL career. The talented two-way centerman missed 72 games during the '07-'08 season following a concussion stemming from a hit from behind by Randy Jones, then of the Philadelphia Flyers. A second concussion a year later after colliding with then-Carolina Hurricane Dennis Seidenberg forced Bergeron to miss 15 contests.
It is always scary when you see players like Bergeron, who have a long history of concussions get concussed again. We have seen how long it took Bergeron to come back from the first concussion and have seen how head injuries have affected Marc Savard's career. Hopefully, this is just a case of the Bruins medical staff being cautious given the player's history. I would hate to see such a talented young player have to miss significant time for the third time in his career. I also don't want to see him rushed back into the lineup because it is the playoffs. We also saw the negative impact that can have when we saw Marc Savard came back too early last spring.
This is a huge blow for the Bruins. Bergeron is arguable the Bruins best all-around player and the Bruins current playoff point-leader (12 points; 2-10-12). He is a complete three-zone player and in a lot of ways, Claude Julien's system is built around players like Bergeron. When the Bruins are playing the type of hockey they want to play, it is a possession game and that all starts in face-off circle. Bergeron has won 163 of the 254 draws (64.2%) he has taken in the postseason, including 31 of 37 (83.78%) over the last 2 games. You can not replace that sort of dominance at the dot.
AUDIO: Peter Chiarelli's press conference from earlier today.