The Patrice Bergeron injury didn't hurt the Bruins until Sunday, their first loss in seven games. Saturday marked exactly two weeks since Bergeron suffered a small fracture in his foot, which is when the B's said the center would be re-evaluated.
And now it appears that Bergeron will not return right away, and that the Bruins could easily be without him for the next three games as they leave Chicago for a southeast road trip.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy talked about the Bergeron injury on Saturday. He told reporters that while things could change, he doesn't expect the center to be ready to return at any point in their road trip.
"I don’t anticipate him playing on this trip at all," said Cassidy. "Don’t hold me to that as we take it day-by-day, but he’s not playing today and he’s not playing tomorrow. He’s not skating with the team and he’s not skating on his own just yet, so he’ll have to go through some of that part of it obviously before he can think about joining us. I think he’s on target, but that’s all I know.
"Right now, I don’t believe he’s planning on traveling with us. So if that changed mid-week and then he could skate with us, then obviously he might join us later. But I’m just speculating on where he’s at in his return to the ice. If it’s daily [rehab] stuff it’s almost easier to do it here."
The Road Ahead
The shorthanded B's get three tough games this week, starting Tuesday on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes. They then play the Florida Panthers on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Based on Cassidy's assessment, the earliest Bergeron could possibly return is next Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden. But after that game, the Bruins head on another road trip to play the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Winnipeg Jets.
The B's played without Brad Marchand on Sunday due to an upper body injury suffered on Saturday, losing 3-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Marchand's status for Tuesday is unclear, but the B's are expected to get David Backes back from his three-game suspension for that game.
Bergeron, meanwhile, is likely to be out longer than the flimsy initial two-week timetable. And it's unclear what "on target" means from Cassidy, as far as a return date.
-- By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].