Bruce Cassidy won’t rule out load management to keep Patrice Bergeron healthy

Matt Kalman
November 19, 2019 - 4:10 pm

The Bruins did not have Patrice Bergeron be back in the lineup for the second straight game when they took on the New Devils on the road Tuesday.

He missed the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout loss to Washington on Saturday with a lower-body injury, which may or may not be related to the groin problem that bothered him all offseason after the Bruins’ run to Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Saturday was Bergeron’s first missed game of the season, and it came after the Bruins won at Toronto the night before with Bergeron in the lineup.

After saying Bergeron would take the pregame warmup Tuesday and then decide if he could play against the Devils, Cassidy was asked Tuesday morning if there’s a chance we’ll see Bergeron sit out half of some back-to-back situations moving forward.

“It’ll be his call,” Cassidy said about the 34-year-old, who did not take the warmup in New Jersey. “I mean he’s been around a long time, he knows his body better than we do, so we’ll talk about it. Obviously, I wouldn’t say that automatically we’ll start doing that. But it’s something we have to consider so that he’s as healthy as possible going forward.

“But we talked about that this summer, we talked about it with a few of our players, especially with long playoff run last year, we may have to look into that. So this is kind of the first step with him and we’ll see how it plays out.”

Bergeron is averaging 18:58 of ice time per game this season, 30 seconds more per outing than last season. He has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 19 games. His linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak; defensemen Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy, and center Charlie Coyle are among a group of Bruins players that played major minutes in the playoffs but have played all 20 games this season thus far.

Although Bergeron didn't play, Jake DeBrusk (lower body) and Brett Ritchie (upper body) did face the Devils after missing time with injuries.

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