Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Mar 14, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (37) skates against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins are returning to Boston with a 3-1 series lead, and the hope for the Bruins is that Patrice Bergeron will be ready to make his 2023 postseason debut in that contest, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery also made it known that the two-win lead on the Panthers in this first-round series does not change their thinking when it comes to getting No. 37 back in action.

“If they and the doctors say they’re able to play, they’re playing,” Montgomery said of Bergeron (and the injured David Krejci) when asked about their availability for Game 5 at TD Garden. “You don’t take chances in the playoffs. You don’t wait to know if he’s going to get another eight days of rest.

“If he’s healthy, and we know what the situation is, if he gets the green light, he’s playing on Wednesday night.”

  • Well, that juuuuust about settles that.

    Though the Bruins opted to leave the 37-year-old Bergeron back in Boston for their two-game trip down to Sunrise, Montgomery acknowledged that Game 5 was looking like a real possibility for Boston’s captain.

    Montgomery also explained that the Bruins decided to leave Bergeron, who has been helping the B’s coaching staff throughout this round whether it’s been through text or meetings between periods, back in Boston because it was better for him to work with specialists and trainers who could ramp up his recovery like they did for Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand, and Matt Grzelcyk during their recoveries from their respective offseason surgeries back at the start of the season.

    Montgomery’s borderline adamant stance that Bergeron is going in on Wednesday if deemed ready was also his strongest statement on Bergeron to date, as it was a deviation from ‘we’re going to see how he’s doing’ or the usual ‘day-to-day’ stuff that comes this time of year. It was a simple and direct if he’s good, he’s in.

  • Mar 14, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (37) warms up before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 14, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (37) warms up before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. (Jamie Sabau/USA TODAY Sports)

  • As for Bergeron’s actual availability, which still trumps any feelings Montgomery may have on whether or not he’s going in, Montgomery did note that Bergeron is still looking better than Krejci when it comes to suiting up.

    “I have higher hopes for him playing than Krejci,” Montgomery admitted.

    When asked why, Montgomery referred to the “medical timeline” of his recovery, and Bergeron “checking boxes.”

  • There’s also an element of the Bruins going for the kill with the Panthers on the ropes here.

    It would make a ton of sense to keep No. 37 on the shelf for a home-ice Game 5, especially given the way the Bruins played down in Sunrise after a disastrous Game 2 outing and with the way the Panthers have targeted some of Boston’s best players in this series. But the Bruins want to wrap this up, and what better way to do that than by bringing your do-it-all center back into the lineup and giving a porous Panther defense another thing to worry about?

    Like Montgomery said, you don’t take chances in the playoffs. The last thing the Bruins want to do is give the Panthers any life, especially after a suffocating performance over the weekend. And the best way to ensure that that doesn’t happen is by throwing the life force of the B’s roster back into the equation for Game 5.

  • Mar 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with center Patrice Bergeron (37) after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with center Patrice Bergeron (37) after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

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