Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 56

Day-56 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

BREAKING NEWS ON BERGERON and TOEWS:  Bruins Center Patrice Bergeron did not take part in today’s morning skate in preparation for Game-6 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight.  Bergeron remains listed as day-to-day after leaving Game-5 on Saturday night in Chicago with an undisclosed injury.  Carl Soderberg took Bergeron’s place between Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand at the skate.

The good news for Blackhawks fans, is that Captain Jonathan Toews‘ was on the ice for the Hawks’ skate taking his usual turns with Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane.

LISTEN (closely) AND LEARN:  In 33 years of covering professional sports, the one thing I have learned is that even though I make the majority of my living by “flapping my jaw”, I, more often than not, absorb more valuable information when my mouth is shut and I just listen.

As the So-Called Experts (SCE) tried to speculate as to what was wrong with Bruins star Patrice Bergeron I decidced to pipe-up and just listen to a select couple of guys who always seem to burrow their way to the “Inside” information.  At first, they offered me nothing out of the ordinary when trying to decipher the most ambiguous of NHL animals–the dreaded “Upper Body Injury”.

The usual check-points of the “Upper Body Injury” starts with the head, and works its way down to the neck, shoulder, obliques, abdominals, chest, ribs, elbows, wrists, fingers, etc.–essentially anything above the waistline.

The SCE’s went back to the video tape and the closest they could come to addressing a potential issue was a clean Michel Rozival shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Bergeron–which immediately brought on discussions of Bergeron’s past issues with head injuries.

But then, one of the respected SCE’s declared “could it be his shoulder, could it be his wrist, a spleen.”   A spleen? …A spleen? That’s a ways away from the shoulder and the wrist and potentially more life threatening.  And then I got to thinking.  Why would he even throw that out there, unless the spleen had at least been alluded to by someone much closer to the situation than any of the rest of us?  And, then again a spleen  would certainly explain why an ambulance was summoned to the United Center.

More than one Boston source zeroed in on Bergeron’s spleen in their Post Game-5 loss to the Blackhawks, but then again, one would have to believe that if the spleen is the source of his discomfort–and ruptured–there is no way he would have been released from the hospital in time to join his teammates on the Bruins charter flight home.

Now we wait to the pre-game skate tonight and whether or not Patrice Bergeron suits-up.  If he doesn’t, arguably the B’s have not only lost one of the best face-off guys in the league, but also one of the most impactful big game players in the NHL.  And if you don’t believe me, just ask the Toronto Maple Leafs how big Bergeron comes through!

THE HEAT IS ON:  It is a very hot and humid day in Boston and that is having an affect on an ice surface that has already drawn much criticism from the players.  As players from both sides went through their morning drills, they cut through a very light fog nestled over the TD Garden surface.

FELLING THE HEAT:  Bruins Norris Trophy winning Defenseman Zdeno Chara is under the microscope after carding a minus-5 over the last two games, while also being on the ice for 8 of the Blackhawks last 9 goals against.





Chicago     at Boston     8:00 PM EST



Chris Madsen