Meanwhile, in that same building, his teammate Marc Savard returned to Boston for the first time since suffering his own severe concussion in February. He had been resting at home in Ontario and his symptoms were so severe, he couldn't even get on a plane to go watch a hockey game. A horrifying injury to suffer through, especially for a professional athlete.
One player ravaged by a brain injury, another trying to return less than two weeks after suffering a similar one.
Bergeron skated in the morning before hand with his Boston Bruins. Afterward, Claude Julien indicated that there was a real possibility he could play in the game that night.
As it turned out, he didn't play, likely due to the fact that he's yet to take contact since suffering that most recent concussion on the end of a Claude Giroux hit in Game 4 against Philadelphia.
But he almost played. A guy with a concussion was a game-time decision, essentially.
Granted, we don't know every single detail about Bergeron's condition. We don't know how much he's hurting, how severe his symptoms are, etc. The team called it a mild concussion when diagnosed, for the record.
We do know a lot of things, though -- like Bergeron's lengthy, nasty concussion history, including two severe ones.
We know that the more concussions you have, the worse they tend to get and the more frequent they become. That's why Eric Lindros' career quickly turned from great to unfulfilled in the 1990s. We know that plenty of rest is the best, perhaps only way to treat a concussion effectively. That's why Sidney Crosby hasn't played since January. That's why Savard might never play hockey again.
This is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and guys return from injuries and play with various ailments all the time. But a broken hand can be fixed relatively easily when compared to a brain injury. There's a reason this concussion stuff is such a big deal these days, you know?
As Savard sat and watched Game 2 from high-atop TD Garden, Bergeron was there with him. Yet as we prepare for Game 3 in Tampa Bay, the stories still aren't really about Bergeron's health. They're about how quickly he's going to return to the lineup, without any questions about whether or not he's being rushed back.
Bergeron is a vital piece in the Bruins lineup, and with him, their chances of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final are much greater than without him. Boston needs him. It's understandable why they'd want him back, and it's understandable why he himself would want to come back.
Am I saying we should ridicule the Bruins for pushing Bergeron? No, because like I said, we don't have every detail. We're not the doctors, and given that we don't have all the details, we can't possibly jump to a snap judgment.
But let's at least ask the question. Why is Bergeron potentially able to return in two weeks? Is Savard's condition being looked at as a cautionary tale? There's something that seems extremely awkward about all of this, and it doesn't appear as though anybody is talking about it.