, Gloucester, MA

April 12, 2013

Crunch Time

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Bergeron on the ice

The Bruins received some very good news on Thursday as Patrice Bergeron took the ice and skated with the team during practice for the first time since sustaining a concussion on April 2.

Bergeron did not compete in contract drills but his return to the ice is a good sign as the Bruins will need him on the ice during the playoffs.

There was still no word on the condition of Brad Marchand Thursday. Marchand left Wednesday’s game against the Devils after taking an elbow to the head from Anton Volchenkov. Adam McQuaid, however, returned to action against the Islanders last night for the first time since injuring his shoulder on March 19.

Soderberg to stay

Just when it looked like Carl Soderberg was finally going to be making his way to Boston the Swedish Federation comes in and swoops him away.

Soderberg agreed to a three-year deal with the Bruins earlier this week, six years after his rights were traded to Boston from St. Louis for goalie Hannu Toivinen. On Thursday, however, the Swedish Federation declined to release Soderberg to the NHL.

Soderberg played this season in the Swedish Elite League, his team was eliminated last week before he reached a deal with the Bruins. The move by the Swedish Federation means Soderberg can not report to the team until the Swedish Elite League finals conclude in the middle of May.

Pierce, KG to sit

The Celtics continue to rest their aging starts leading into the postseason and their two best players will sit out tonight’s matchup with the Miami Heat. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will both get a night off tonight as both reportedly have sore ankles.

To make matters worse Dwyane Wade is expected to return to the lineup for Miami. With the No. 7 seed locked up, the Celtics appear content to coast into the postseason, a strategy that has worked for them before.

Boston should not be too concerned as to where it stands as a first rond matchup with the Knicks is on the horizon. New York will have home court advantage and an edge in youth and athleticism. But out of the top three teams in the East (Miami, New York and Indiana), the Knicks are the Celtics best shot at a first round victory.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru