BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks are optimistic captain Jonathan Toews will recover from his undisclosed upper-body injury in time to play in Game 6 on Monday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET). The Boston Bruins, however, continue to be tight-lipped on the prognosis of their star Patrice Bergeron.
After a visit to a Chicago hospital on Saturday evening, Bergeron was released in time to fly home with his teammates after the Bruins dropped a 3-1 decision to fall behind in the Stanley Cup final 3-2.
Bruins coach Claude Julien listed his dependable veteran as day-to-day, but would not provide any information as to the nature of Bergeron's mystery ailment.
"I don't know if he'll skate tomorrow. He may. And that's what day-to-day is. Again, I'm trying to be as clear as I can here," said Julien, who replaced Bergeron when he departed in the second period with 27-year-old rookie Carl Soderberg, a Swede who made his Stanley Cup playoff debut in Game 5.
"Now, whether that happens or not, again, will depend on Bergy. The other thing is if it's not Bergy, I'm going to look at [if Soderberg] is the right fit or do I look for something else, and I may have to juggle some players around. But that will happen tomorrow when we find out more about Bergy."
Speculation to Bergeron injury
With the Bruins not even revealing whether Bergeron's injury happened in Game 4 or Game 5, there was plenty of speculation as to whether he suffered some sort of spleen, kidney or back ailment.
With Toews, it was obvious that his injury was the result of a hit from Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk as the Chicago captain cut across into the high slot midway through the second period.
Boychuk caught Toews high, but the Blackhawks centre had bent down to try to avoid the hit. The NHL player safety department reviewed the incident and decided no suspension was warranted for Boychuk, who was not penalized on the play.
Toews spent the entire third period on the bench, but did not hop over the boards for a shift.
"Johnny is doing much better," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's progressing. We're optimistic he'll play."
It will be interesting to watch the developments from the morning skates for both teams on Monday and the warmup prior to the game.
Teams face similar situations
Meanwhile, the Bruins and Blackhawks arrived back in Boston to face similar situations as they did in their recent Stanley Cup championships.
When the Bruins won in 2011, they dropped a hard-fought 1-0 decision in Vancouver only to return home to beat the Canucks and force a Game 7 back in Vancouver, which, of course, Boston also managed to win.
When the Blackhawks captured their Stanley Cup in 2010, they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 at home in Game 5. Then, the Blackhawks went to Philadelphia to deliver the knockout blow on Patrick Kane's overtime winner.
Do the Blackhawks have a feel for clinching the Stanley Cup on the road again, and maybe even see Kane score the championship winner?
"We were just kind of talking about that," Kane said. "I don't know, I think the stars would have to be aligned right for it to happen like that again.
"We have a great opportunity. I'll do whatever I can to help the team win, and it would be a great feeling."
Kane hitting his stride
It just so happens that Kane has been the Blackhawks most productive offensive player lately. He scored two more goals on Saturday to give him seven, including two game winners, in his past seven games.
He made a remarkable comeback from his drunken episode from a Cinco de Mayo party at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in which photos of a soused Kane went viral on the Internet 13-plus months ago.
During the lockout, he went over to Europe to play with Biel in Switzerland and took his mother, Donna. He played well abroad and for the Blackhawks in his return, leading the league's best regular-season team with 23 goals and 55 points in 48 games.
He now has scored nine goals in 22 games to become the first in Blackhawks history to check in with nine or more goals in three post-seasons. He also turned the trick in 2009 (nine) and 2010 (10). The only other NHLer to score nine or more goals in a playoffs in the last 20 years was Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic (1996, 2001, 2002).
Blackhawks stud defenceman Duncan Keith was asked before the series whether he felt Kane had matured.
"I think he's always been a little bit misunderstood in some ways," he said. "Every guy likes to go out and have fun, especially when you're a young guy. He's no different. Sometimes it just kind of got caught on camera, pictures, things like that. Maybe one incident sticks out in people's heads.
"To me, he's always been a good guy, a good teammate. I think now he's got a girlfriend. You can tell, he's 24, turning 25, he's not 18 or 19 anymore. It's kind of fun seeing him and Toews get a little bit older, have girlfriends. They're starting to stay in on a Friday night, watch a movie instead."
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