The Boston Bruins, fresh off their four-game sweep over the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, will have a few days more to rest up before they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals since 1992.
Game 1 at Boston: Saturday, May 14, 8 p.m.
Game 2 at Boston: Tuesday, May 17, 8 p.m.
Game 3 at Tampa Bay: Thursday, May 19, 8 p.m.
Game 4 at Tampa Bay: Saturday, May 21, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary) at Boston: Monday, May 23, 8 p.m.
Game 6 (if necessary) at Tampa Bay, Wednesday, May 25, 8 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary) at Boston, Friday, May 27, 8 p.m.
With another four days until Game 1, the extra rest is an added bonus for Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a mild concussion in Game 4 against the Flyers.
Zdeno Chara has been a bit banged up as well, so the long layoff is clearly a boost for the Bruins, who are looking for their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
Coach Claude Julien was clearly happy that Bergeron appeared to be improving in his recovery.
“He’s here and he’s doing better,” Julien told the Boston Globe. “Given with the concussion symptoms and everything else and the protocol of it, he’s here today because he’s feeling better. So we’re getting some positive feedback from him.”
Rookie Tyler Seguin will get his chance to shine with Bergeron out of the lineup, joining the third line with Michael Ryder and Rich Peverly.
“Watching the playoffs, I guess it really does make you hungry. You hope he’s hungry enough that he steps in there and showcases what he can,” Julien said of Seguin. “He’s a good player. He certainly has improved from Day 1 to now. Right now, it’s crunch time. It’s about winning. As I mentioned to him, it’s not so much about being patient and seeing things. It’s more about results right now. It’s going to be important that he tries and gets us some results. Results for him would certainly be competing really hard in all areas and utilizing his skill assets to create some scoring chances and some goals.”
While Bergeron’s production will certainly be missed (two goals, 10 assists), the Bruins will no doubt continue the great team play that has carried them thus far.
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