A return for Patrice Bergeron next week viewed as a possibility

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BOSTON – It looks like the Bruins might be getting Patrice Bergeron back sooner rather than later.

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Bergeron will be on the ice with the Bruins on Wednesday as a normal participant in practice and is being looked at as a possibility to potentially return to game action at the end of next week. Bergeron will miss his 14th straight game on Sunday when he sits out the Bruins/Sabres tilt at TD Garden, and has been out with a rib/sternoclavicular injury since Radek Faksa rode him into the boards in a Nov. 16 loss in Dallas.

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Bergeron resumed skating on his own earlier this week and should return to his customary role centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak when he does indeed get back into the Black and Gold’s lineup.

“I think Bergeron will practice with us [next week],” said Cassidy, who indicated that Bergeron skated again on Sunday morning ahead of. “We’re hoping he’ll skate with the team. Whether that means he’ll play Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, I don’t know. But at least he’s one step closer. We’re hoping that’s how it will play out.”

Bruce Cassidy indicated that 41-year-old Zdeno Chara is a little behind Bergeron in terms of his timetable recovering from his left MCL injury, but the expectation is that both players would return sometime around the Christmas holiday. While David Krejci has done a remarkable job while centering Marchand and Pastrnak over the last two weeks with three goals and seven points in the last five games, it goes without saying that a return of Bergeron would be a massive lift in all facets of the game for the Black and Gold.

It would also mean that the Bruins have managed to tread water and stay alive in the playoff picture during the dark period when Bergeron and Chara went down with serious injuries in back-to-back games. It will be interesting to see how much better they can be when No. 37 returns and Boston’s starts getting back toward their full strength lineup, something that hasn’t been seen on the ice in a long, long time. 

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