BOSTON (CBS) — It will be a welcome sight for Bruins fans to see No. 37 back on the ice, and it may come as soon as Monday night at the TD Garden.
Patrice Bergeron skated with the team on Monday morning and said afterward that he feels ready to return to game action. However, the final decision won’t be made until team doctors evaluate him prior to Monday’s 7 p.m. puck drop at the Garden.
“It’s just making sure we’re all on the same page here,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the skate. “He’s been feeling a lot better for the last few days and seems to be, obviously, doing extremely well. But when you’ve been through what Patrice has been through [four concussions], we’re always going to make sure we’re extra safe with him, even if it take some extra time we’re willing to do that.
“I’m going to wait and make sure that everybody’s good. I know he’s feeling good. Medically, I always give [the medical staff] the last say. You don’t argue with those guys, you work with them and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Bergeron suffered the concussion on April 2 against Ottawa. The team has gone 3-3-0 since then, and though Julien said the team is going to be very cautious with how they handle Bergeron’s return to the ice, it’s clear that the coach is looking forward to having Bergeron back.
“We miss his leadership, there’s no doubt,” Julien said. “His work ethic and everything else. He’s a good player, he’ an elite player. Like I said, you don’t replace him, so what you miss is what you can’t replace.”
There was more good news from the Garden on Monday morning, as Brad Marchand skated with the team for the second straight day. He, too, is recovering from a concussion, suffered last week against the Devils. Though he hasn’t yet taken any contact, Marchand said he is feeling good. His expected return date is still unknown, but skating in consecutive days is an encouraging sign for Marchand and the Bruins.