Joining teammates at Warrior Ice Arena for a Friday captains' practice, patience is the word for the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron.
That's because the 33-year-old Bergeron, who is coming off a 30-goal, 63-point season that was limited to just 64 contests, is still not at 100 percent thanks to an unexpected offseason procedure on his groin in June.
????Patrice Bergeron hit the ice for captains' practice on Friday. And after the skate he provided an update on his health and looked ahead to the 2018-19 season: pic.twitter.com/Zqrtuq29Th
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 31, 2018
“The fact that surgery was done in June, so a month after the season ended, definitely set me back a little bit," Bergeron acknowledged on Friday. "I started increasing the volume in August this year, so all of July was rehabbing and all that. A little bit behind, but still shooting to be ready for Game 1 of the season, so that’s the goal right now."
Bergeron also noted that he will not be joining the Black and Gold for their preseason trip to China, where the team will skate against the Flames two times in five days between Shenzhen and Beijing, and instead remain back in Boston. That won't necessarily close the door on Bergeron's preseason entirely, though, as the Bruins will have four more preseason games by the time the rest of the team arrives back from their trek through China, including two at TD Garden.
That should No. 37 ample time to test out his rehab progress between camp and Oct. 3's season opener against the Capitals.
Which is exactly what Bergeron, who has missed the season opener in back-to-back seasons, feels he needs.
"I'd like to get a few [preseason] games before the start of the season," Bergeron admitted. "I guess that's the gameplan and we'll see how it goes and play it week-by-week. Hopefully, I can keep improving like I am right now."