Patrice Bergeron is one of the those guys that just grits his teeth and gets on with it. Should the Boston Bruins be at all concerned about his fitness?
Heading into training camp, it’s telling that Boston Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney had to field questions about star center, Patrice Bergeron‘s fitness. Telling in that, he is a key player for the side, but also that he may well not be in peak condition regardless of what he says to the media.
Don Sweeney’s exact words were carefully balanced, as reported by NESN:
“It’s lingered. He had a procedure a while back that would likely have alleviated it but it’s a mileage issue as well,” he said via a team-provided transcript.
Perhaps there are answers there to how his fitness should be managed; don’t be at all shocked if the Boston Bruins choose not to ice or at least to limit Patrice Bergeron in his amount of pre-season ice-time.
Patrice Bergeron is no longer a young guy, he’s now 34 years-old and you have to imagine lingering issues are there, not just in his groin, which he struggled with during this past year’s Stanley Cup Final run, but also all over his body.
Hockey isn’t a particularly forgiving sport and fourteen years in the NHL is likely fourteen years of little niggles and hits that would put the normal man down and out for a few weeks; for a professional hockey player, they dust themselves off and get back out there for their next shift!
Should we be concerned that Patrice Bergeron is now on the injury decline? Probably not.
Despite missing 17 games last year, he still managed to tally a career-high of 79 points. The only concern you might have is that the past two seasons he has only managed to play in 64 and 65 regular season games respectively, meaning he missed almost a quarter of the Boston Bruins fixtures.
So whilst we shouldn’t have any performance concerns just yet, there should certainly be a few questions marks about Patrice Bergeron’s durability and ability to complete a full season for the Boston Bruins.
Perhaps, they’ll be smart and rest him for a few games, perhaps not. It’s impossible to know what the collective thinking from the coaching and management group will be.
Either way we need to, for the sake of the Boston Bruins success as a team, ensure that Patrice Bergeron starts the season fit and healthy and not the slightly broken figure he cut by Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last year.