March 12, 2012

With Bergeron questionable, Bruins recall Whitfield

By Jesse Connolly

Fourteen games remain on the regular-season schedule for the Boston Bruins, but if the Black and Gold keep dropping like flies at the pace they have of late, there won’t be a single healthy soul left when the playoffs begin. 

Veteran Trent Whitfield was recalled on Monday by the Bruins. (Getty)

Boston lost three players to injuries in Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh. Adam McQuaid left in the first period after sustaining an upper-body injury while delivering a hit on Penguins winger James Neal. Max Sauve departed his NHL debut in the second period and eventually left the rink on crutches.

Worst of all, the B’s best all-around player, Patrice Bergeron, was forced to leave the game prematurely after getting banged up blocking a shot.

“He’s going to be a game-time decision, I guess,” coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron. “We’ll reevaluate him tomorrow.”

The list of injured Bruins has become so lengthy that even Julien has had trouble keeping track of all of his wounded troops.

“Paille is still day-to-day and a possibility. Pouliot we don’t know yet. Who else? Am I forgetting somebody?” the coach said.

“McQuaid is day-to-day. The only major injury we had yesterday was Sauve. We sent him back to Boston. The rest are all with us.”

With Sauve – who was on emergency recall -- now “done for a while” and Bergeron iffy for Tuesday’s tilt against the Lightning, Boston has recalled veteran Trent Whitfield from Providence. The P-Bruins’ captain, who served as a member of the Black Aces during the playoffs last spring, has 11 points in 41 AHL contests this season.

Whitfield’s last NHL experience came during the 2010 postseason. The 34-year-old forward skated in the final four games of the B’s second-round loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Julien impressed with Turco in debut

Perhaps the lone silver lining in Boston’s loss to Pittsburgh Sunday was the play of Marty Turco. The veteran netminder came on at the start of the second period with the Bruins trailing by three.

“He went in there in his first game in a long time at this level and I thought he did well,” Julien said. “He battled well. He’s always been known as a great puck-handler and I think that’s going to help us along the way. He’s like a third defenseman when it comes to moving the puck.”

Turco stopped 20-of-22 shots on the afternoon and gave the B’s a fighting chance to mount a comeback.

“He was so excited that I thought he gave us some life, too,” said Julien. “It gave Tim a bit of a break here. I thought he did well and that’s what we wanted to see.”