TAMPA — Bruins head coach Claude Julien wouldn’t commit one way or the other on Patrice Bergeron’s status for tonight’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The veteran center, who suffered a concussion May 6, took the morning skate with the team today and left the ice among the first four or five players the way a game player normally would.
“There’s going to be probably a decision made either today, if not tomorrow, as he inches closer,” said Julien, who later classified Bergeron as day-to-day. “He’s feeling pretty good. Again, it’s not totally up to the coach to make the final decision. I think a lot of other things have to happen.
“I can only give you the same answer I gave you the other day: if he’s in the warm-up, it’s because he’s ready to go. I’m sure there’s going to be some discussions on it as we move forward today and it just goes to show you that he’s getting real closer.”
Should Bergeron be able to play tonight against Tampa Bay, Julien would have a difficult decision of which player to scratch. The coach already said yesterday that rookie Tyler Seguin, fresh off scoring three goals in two games, would definitely be in.
“I don’t think I want them to accept it. I think I want them to understand it,” said Julien about how the scratched player should handle the situation. “A guy who accepts it is not what I want to see. Everybody wants to play. I think what has to happen is he has to understand. And whoever that may be, it’s about the team right now and through a long series you see changes all the time. And whoever that player ends up being has to be ready to jump in into the lineup when he’s called upon. That’s been the case since Day One.”
Most of the speculation about the scratch has focused on Shawn Thornton.