The NHL Experts blog is a collaboration of voices from around and inside the game of hockey. With viewpoints ranging from the press box to the front office, the Experts blog will offer unique perspectives through the playoffs to keep readers informed of significant storylines in all aspects of the game.
It's amazing how an exceptionally talented hockey club like the Boston Bruins can so acutely feel the absence of just one player. Yes, we've all been making a huge deal about the fact that Patrice Bergeron is injured, sidelined with his third concussion in four years. Bruins head coach Claude Julien has made it abundantly clear that he's sick of answering questions about Bergeron and about how his team will get along without him. But at the end of the day, it is a big deal, both for Bergeron and the Bruins, both because head injuries are serious business and because the Bruins have a serious hole to fill.
Bergeron was in attendance at Game 1, looking smiley and sharp in his suit as he accepted an American flag from a group of Army Rangers during a TV timeout. He skated on his own on Saturday and Sunday mornings and was on the ice doing power-play drills with his team on Monday at TD Banknorth Garden. He left, however, when the drills shifted to more intense ones deeper in the offensive zone.
On Tuesday, ESPNBoston.com reported that Bergeron would miss Game 2.
On paper, Julien's Game 1 fix looked like a simple one. He moved Chris Kelly from the third line to Bergeron's spot on the second, in between RW Brad Marchand and LW Mark Recchi. To fill Kelly's spot, Julien activated Tyler Seguin, who missed the first 11 games of the playoffs as a healthy scratch, and put him on the right wing on the third line with LW Michael Ryder and C Rich Peverley. But this game is not played on paper. And now they'll have to put a new plan into action before they fall into a 2-0 hole to the Bolts.