The Boston Bruins will head into the offseason with time to think about their rare early exit for the postseason. They will also have time to heal, mentally and physically.
Excuses should not be made by the Bruins internally for the lack of production during the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, the roster was ravaged by injuries from top to bottom as the season came to an end. Nathan Horton’s concussion was documented as a season-ending injury and the team was accustomed to not having him in the lineup.
Horton’s injury, which he suffered in mid-January in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, was only the beginning of the ailments for the Bruins heading into the postseason.
Tyler Seguin will most likely undergo surgery on his left hand to repair a detached tendon. He suffered the injury on March 15 in a game against the Florida Panthers.
He was told that he could not do further damage to the hand by playing, but it would be painful to continue playing. Seguin only recorded two points in the seven-game series against the Washington Capitals.
Also, Patrice Bergeron was held in check due to a strained oblique muscle. He felt the injury surface in game three, but it became worse in game five when he was hit by Capitals’ forward Alexander Ovechkin. The injury prevented him from taking face-offs in the final two games. He will not need surgery in the offseason. Bergeron only recorded two assists in the Bruins’ seven postseason games.
The blue line depth became thin for the Bruins as well. Adam McQuaid revealed to the media on break-up day that he was suffering from a concussion, causing him to miss the entire postseason. He was on the wrong side of a Jason Chimera hit in a game against the Capitals during the regular season. He tried to come back in game 81 against the Ottawa Senators but was held to under 10 minutes of ice time. McQuaid left the game and has not played since.
Even the big man proved to be human after all. Zdeno Chara got up close and personal with a high stick in game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. As a result, he was the victim of a broken nose and a bruised eye.
His fellow blue line teammate Joe Corvo missed the final two games of the series with a knee injury. Corvo was injured after he took a slap shot off the knee. He later had to be helped off the ice. Corvo finished the playoffs with a plus-3 rating, which was tied for the team lead.
With Tuukka Rask returning from his abdominal/groin injury midway through the first round of the playoffs, that was one less injury that the Bruins had to be worried about. He should be able to compete for the starting goaltending job next season pending any setbacks.
Now that the offseason is here, all of the injured Bruins will be able to heal up and return in time for the start of training camp.