BOSTON (CBS) — In a sport as violent and physical as hockey, there are always going to be injuries at the end of a long season and playoff run. The Boston Bruins are certainly no exception.
With the Bruins at the TD Garden to pack up their lockers for the summer, a number of injuries were revealed. While there was nothing on the level of Patrice Bergeron last June, the B’s were still a banged-up bunch.
Matt Fraser, who scored the overtime game-winning goal in Game 4, did so on a broken foot. He played Games 5-7 on that broken foot, which he suffered while playing in the AHL playoffs for the Providence Bruins.
Zdeno Chara did admit to his finger injury, which was reported Thursday, but he said he does not need surgery.
“I don’t like to talk about injuries,” Chara said. “It’s something that it doesn’t need to be surgically done so far, and hopefully it stays that way. But again it’s not something I’m going to be blaming it on or making excuses. It’s just that’s the way it is. We all play with different injuries or we are banged up, and that’s part of hockey and playoffs, and for sure that’s not why we lost.”
The report Thursday out of Slovakia indicated Chara ran the risk of infection with his injury, which seems accurate, based on his comments.
“It’s something that we have to stay on top of,” Chara said. “We’ll see the next few days. But for sure, [surgery] is something that you don’t want to have and it’s always nice to avoid.”
Winger Milan Lucic, who made some headlines for his unfriendly handshakes with Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin after losing Game 7, was also sporting a soft cast on his left wrist on Friday. He’ll need an MRI to learn more of his injury.
“I got it caught and jammed it in the first period of last game. Unfortunately now I have to get an MRI on it, so hopefully there’s nothing too bad in there other than just a sprain,” Lucic said. “It was a healthy, healthy year. The two games I did miss were both because of the flu. I was able to keep myself healthy all year long, performing at the level that I wanted to. … You always want to keep improving to get better, and with this loss it’s something that will motivate you in the summer.”
Forward Chris Kelly, who missed the final three games of the regular season and the entire postseason, revealed he was dealing with a herniated disc that “more than likely” will require surgery.
“I was trying to do everything I could not to have surgery in order to play. But this season’s done now, I’ll probably go ahead and end up getting it fixed,” Kelly said. “I hurt it in Minnesota [April 8]. My back seized up on me. I thought I caught it soon enough, but after that I was pretty sore for a while. It’s still sore. A lot of the muscle, and it’s a nerve thing, so it shoots right down my leg. Some days are better than others, but hopefully I’ll get it fixed and it’ll be fine.”
As to whether a return to the ice was possible this postseason, Kelly said that was the goal but it was unknown whether he’d be able to play.
One player who did have confidence in a return in the next round was Dennis Seidenberg. The defenseman tore his ACL and MCL late in December, but he had been skating with the team in recent weeks and planned on playing if the Bruins made it to the conference finals.
“There would have been a good chance for me to play next round. Too bad it didn’t happen, but I think we did everything in our power trying to get back,” Seidenberg said. “I think right from the beginning I thought [I’d be able to return this year]. They do tell you six to eight months, but I know people have come back in shorter periods of time, so I told myself, ‘Why not? I’ll try my best and see where it takes me.'”
Seidenberg said he would have had no hesitation in returning, whether it would be in Game 1 or Game 2.
“It was definitely strong enough,” Seidenberg said. “If something would have happened, it would have been another freak thing.”
He admitted that watching the games from the press level instead of playing was not easy.
“It’s terrible,” he said. “It’s very annoying. You feel out of place and just uncomfortable. It’s no fun watching.”
As is always the case, the Bruins didn’t use any of their injuries to excuse their early postseason exit.
“We all do what we can to play,” Chara said. “Once you put the uniform on, you are 100 percent committed to play and do whatever needs to be done to help the team.”
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