The question of the day in The Hub of Hockey is whether Patrice Bergeron, who is day-to-day with a “body injury”, will suit up in a do or die Game 6 Monday night at the TD Garden.
To little surprise, Bergeron did not take part in the morning skate. However, head coach Claude Julien confirmed that the longest tenured Bruin will take part in pregame warmups.
The sixth-year Bruins coach is also confident that the heart and soul of the Black and Gold will give it a go tonight.
“Patrice will dress in warmups tonight,” said Julien, “and I’m confident that he’ll be in the lineup.”
If Bergeron can’t go, than Carl Soderberg will center Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand on the second line, while either Jay Pandolfo or Jordan Caron will skate with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley on line four.
Both Pandolfo and Caron will also take part in warm ups. But Julien isn’t concerned with thinking about his lineups this morning. Instead, in a pivotal Game 6, he’ll make the decision when needed.
“Well I know Pandolfo is going to be in the warmup tonight, and so is Caron, so we’re going to have a few guys out there,” Julien said. “Again, there’s a little bit more in the thought process than just picking a guy. I need to make decisions based on what the needs will be for tonight’s game.”
Pandolfo, who has 131 career playoff games under his belt, last donned the Black and Gold on April 6 against the Montreal Canadiens. But, while he has experience over Caron, the former BU Terrier hasn’t played in the postseason since 2009 when he was a member of the New Jersey Devils.
Caron, meanwhile, has a little more upside with his size and strength and also has a few playoff games under his belt, too. The former first round pick, who’s last game came on April 13 against the Carolina Hurricanes, suited up twice in the Bruins’ first round loss to the Washington Capitals last year.
But even if it means watching another game from the press box, Pandolfo hopes that Bergeron can suit up.
Like Bergeron, Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews left Game 5 with a head injury (presumably after a high hit from Johnny Boychuk). The Hawks captain took part in the morning skate and will give it a go Monday night.
“I feel 100 percent, ready to go,” said Toews. “It was the best morning skate I’ve had all series. There’s no question about where I am physically.”
It looks like we will see the last two Selke Award finalists Monday night. If so, fasten your seatbelts because it’s shaping up to be an entertaining evening on Causeway Street.