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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Use Your Head: Bergeron Should Wait

Patrice Bergeron, after one of the more gruesome on-ice hits I’ve seen, is back on the ice, skating with contact. Five-and-a-half months later. Follow the heart, or follow the head?

As my internal battle waged on, I struggled to come down on one side or the other. Which was right? My heart told me that Bergeron would help the Bruins, give them a better chance against a Canadians team that turned the Black and Gold black and blue, beating them eight out of eight this season.

Of course, this is all just in time for a playoff series against the vaunted, ever sturdy and menacing Montreal Canadians. It might seem a no-brainer to get Bergeron, the Bruins’ young, talented center, back on the ice. He could help the injury-riddled Bruins compete against a Canadians team that, let’s face it, has owned the 2007-08 Bruins like a pair of Lee Dungarees. Right?

Not so fast.

My mind intervened. It accused my heart of being selfish, for wanting to win now. It told me, in more or less words, that the right, grounded thing would be for Bergeron to forgo the Habs-B’s series, ensure his health was one hundred percent and plan accordingly for next season.

I had to put my fandom aside and be a rational human being. It’s no fun, but it’s what I had to do.

For one, Bergeron is still eight pounds lighter than when he was injured. He’s not as strong physically as he was before a class-three concussion and a broken nose sidelined him four days before Halloween. No physical activity for three months does that to you.

Secondly, I can’t say that Bergeron is stronger or weaker mentally because of this injury, but I do know one thing: there’s no doubt that the thought of another concussion constantly revolves in his mind like a carousel of fearful anticipation.

It was five months ago last Wednesday that Patrice sat in front of a throng of media, wearing a full neck brace, not able to walk more than 200 feet without having to stop and rest. Five months later, with or without a doctor’s clearance, Bergeron competing at the highest level with a trip to the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on the line is not a good idea.

The Bruins exceeded the expectations that many sources pinned on them in the preseason; just ask Jack Edwards. To add insult to injury (pun intended), the list of injuries – Bergeron’s aside – is longer than the Bill of Rights. I just needed to chalk it up and concede the fact that the Canadians have made the Bruins their bitches this season. The nominal help Bergeron would have lent to the series wouldn’t be enough to change the outcome.

Perhaps being a Bruins fan won’t be any easier come next season. Maybe they’ll still be stuck on page eight of the Globe and Herald, middling in mediocrity and vying for another low-seed playoff berth.

But at least they can do it with a healthy Bergeron.

About the Contributor
Ryan Thomas served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2007-2008; 2008-2009