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NHL Anaheim Ducks

Boston Bruins Exit Interviews: Injuries, Uncertainties and Baseball Seasons

The time has come for the Boston Bruins exit interviews, the first step before a long summer–the polar opposite of last season. This crop of interviews reveals some pretty interesting things, both good and bad, about the team.

Adam McQuaid revealed that he had a concussion. Recall that he was hit by Jason Chimera at the end of March and stayed out for a while, then tried to return against the Ottawa Senators in early April, but not for long. At the time I seem to remember they explained it away as an eye injury–and he did have a cut over his eye that swelled it shut, but at that time they reported he did not suffer a concussion. Then it became an unspecified upper-body injury for the playoffs. The good news is that he’s feeling better. The bad news is that he was concussed, period.

General manager Peter Chiarelli acknowledged that missing McQuaid, as well as Nathan Horton, hurt the team’s size and strength. The silver lining on that cloud, though: he expects full recoveries for both of them. Yes, both of them!

Patrice Bergeron was among the Bruins playing injured during the postseason, having to deal with a badly strained oblique that he initially hurt in game three and aggravated in game five. He also broke his nose in game five. But he shouldn’t need any surgery.

Like Bergeron, Zdeno Chara was playing with a broken nose.

Brian Rolston isn’t sure yet where–or if–he’s going to continue to play. Granted, he will turn 40 next February, but just look at fellow early-70s-baby and current 40-year-old Jaromir Jagr. Rolston’s experience is valuable and he’s pretty good on the power play, plus his line stood out in a playoff series marked by lackluster offense.

Another Bruins trade-deadline acquisition, Greg Zanon, said he’d like to stay in Boston. He cited comfort with the team and its system. The guy blocks shots like a machine, so his presence could be welcomed, although he’ll need to work on minimizing mistakes.

Brad Marchand said “it’s a bit of a shock” to be out of the postseason so quickly. Andrew Ference added that he feels the team didn’t “play up to our potential” in the playoffs.

Tyler Seguin wants to do some work over the summer improving his core so as to raise his battle and compete level. He could also need surgery on one of his left knuckles. But Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien gave him praise for his progress this season and his road to becoming a star. Chiarelli recognized that he is young, though, and joked that “you can sometimes see Tyler’s missteps on the Internet.”

David Krejci also has a plan for this summer: rest up and be better next year.

Milan Lucic woke up on Thursday morning, remembered there was no practice and asked himself “What do we do now?” He said he probably put too much pressure on himself to score in the playoffs, which manifested itself in his three points, all of them assists. Encouragingly, though, he added that this early exit gives the team time to “return to prominence.” The 2010-11 and 2011-12 season, in his mind, melded into one big long season, like a baseball season.

A cursory look at The Hockey GM reveals that the Bruins have some offseason work to do in terms of contracts. Tuukka Rask, who is going to become a restricted free agent, said that negotiations haven’t started yet. However, he wants to stay in Boston and thinks it’s a “good situation” where he knows his place and role. Also, it seems that his groin injury has healed without the need for surgery.

On the subject of goalies, Chiarelli said he’s “not inclined” to move any of them this summer. He cited the team as having one of the top tandems in the league. He also said he’s not going to give the team an extreme makeover, but that he might be looking for a forward. Dougie Hamilton could very well come up from the minors and make a run at one of the defense spots. (Does that mean Joe Corvo is on his way out?)

Chiarelli recognized the team’s need to improve on the power play. Julien knows the team is better than what they were in the playoffs. Both seem hopeful that the Bruins will be back in top form before long.