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The plot thickens: Rich Peverley gone 4-6 weeks with 3rd degree MCL sprain

February 17, 2012

More from Caron, more from everyone, needed.

We just learned from the Boston Bruins that Rich Peverley will be out of the line-up for 4-6 weeks with a 3rd degree MCL sprain. A quick Google search tells me this is a total rupture of a ligament. A quick hockey brainstorming tells me this spells some trouble for the Bruins–or, perhaps, not.

Let’s work with concentric circles away from the problem.

As such, let’s start with number 49. Peverley was hurt at least once earlier in the season, and with what, we were never told. He has seemed to struggle with mobility and had a hard time standing back up after falling too. It’s purely anecdotal and the team has provided much insight, nor have folks covering the team. My initial impression is that a month out of the line-up could be beneficial to his total health. Peverley proved himself to be a playoff performer last year, and his well-being come April is very important. That said, repeat injuries could be a red-flag. Could be a fluke, too.

Next, let’s think of Nathan Horton, the Bruins’ other sidelined star. No small amount of offensive pop comes from these two. One must wonder if the pressure to return is greater now.  The question becomes–do we rely more on others, or perhaps play an even more defense-first game? The team is out two right wings at the moment.

Of course, that brings us to everyone else in the forward group. Bergeron’s line remains intact. From reports, Josh Hennessy, a fellow that’s played little more than a handful of NHL games, is going to take Paille’s spot on the fourth line, bumping Paille to 3rd line with Caron and Kelly. The top line now consists of Lucic, Krejci, Pouliot. I actually quite like this configuration. The fourth line will struggle without Paille’s speed, to be sure. But Krejci and Pouliot were finally starting to display some nice chemistry of late. Add Lucic’s physicality and directness to that line and I think there is potential. It’s a stop-gap, of course. But it’s not a terrible one. Bergeron’s line must continue to carry the team. But more than that, I look to Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot to rise up during this road-trip. Former first-round draft choices with sublime skill that’s come through only at moments, but not consistently. They can contribute a lot, and as difficult as the loss of Horton and Peverley may be, those two players are the depth (scratched earlier in the season) that we so often speak of with respect to Bruins.

Perhaps when not relegated to a peripheral role, they will rise up. Players always do. The interesting thing about the Bruins’ roster has been just how healthy they’ve been, and consequently, stable, over the last two years. Sure, there have been concussions, bad lacerations, spots here and there. But by and large they’ve been the same crew. A few absences now will perhaps focus the team, require everyone to be on board.

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