After trading for veteran forward Jaromir Jagr earlier in the day, the Bruins lost the services of assistant captain Patrice Bergeron midway through the second period Tuesday night when he left with what appeared to be a head injury and did not return for the remainder of the game.
Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have an update on the team's top player after the game, and he did not want to speculate what the team would do if Bergeron is sidelined for an extended amount of time. Bergeron has a history of head injuries and has suffered three concussions during his career. Hopefully for the Bruins and their fans, that's not the case this time and Bergeron gets back on the ice soon.
"He's a player that plays a big role on our team. He's obviously one of our best players every night, so he was missed since he left the game," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
Prior to Bergeron's unfortunate exit, the news of Jagr's arrival in Boston lifted the team's spirits.
"There's no doubt he's going to help us," Julien said. "That's the key word: He's coming to help us. He's not coming to save us, and that's what people have to understand. He's a great player and he still is a great player, but at the same time we expect to watch him do the work, we're not going anywhere. We need our team to play better and he's certainly going to help our team be better. I like the acquisition. He's a big, strong guy and he's hard to knock off the puck."
Chiarelli knew Jagr would help the Bruins down the stretch and into the playoffs, but when he spoke with Chara and Krejci, they gave the GM "interesting perspective" on what Jagr would add to the mix. So, Chiarelli sent forward Lane MacDermid, unsigned draft pick Cody Payne and a conditional second-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft to Dallas to obtain Jagr's services.
Krejci, a fellow native of the Czech Republic, grew up with a poster of Jagr on his bedroom wall, and eventually had a chance to play with him in the Olympics. But having the opportunity to possibly win another Stanley Cup in Boston, and this time with Jagr as a teammate, hits home with Krejci.
"Yeah, I'm excited," he said. "He's a big name, especially back home. Never really thought I would have a chance to play with him on a real team other than a national team, so it's pretty cool and I'm looking forward to it."
When Krejci sat down with Chiarelli, the two didn't talk about what Jagr can do on the ice; their conversation focused more on the person off the ice.
"All bad stuff," Krejci said with a laugh. "Obviously he's a great player and we all know what he can do so we didn't have to talk about his skills and his game. We talked about what kind of guy he is."
Chara, as usual, was a lot more serious than Krejci. When asked what he told Chiarelli when the GM asked for his feedback, Chara pleaded the Fifth.
"I'm not going to say what the conversation was about, but it was just shop talk," Chara said, adding Jagr will be a "great" addition to the Bruins.
For many years, it was Chara's job to stifle Jagr's abilities, and normally the big defenseman did a good job of shutting down the veteran forward.
"Well, I'm not going to tell you what's the key because obviously he's on my team now," Chara said with a laugh. "If he wants to be, he's still a dominant player. What he gained as a young man working extremely hard, he still has it and he still works extremely hard. It's not like he's just playing on his talent. He wants to win and wants to be as best as he can be. When you have a player with his talent working hard, usually good things happen."
For the majority of his career, Jagr's reputation in the locker room as not being a team player preceded his ability on the ice. As he's gotten older, that tag has been erased and some say it was evident during his stint with the Philadelphia Flyers last season, and again with the Stars this year.
It's also no secret he's had run-ins with some of his coaches in the past, but Julien is not worried about that.
"There's a lot of different personalities [in our dressing room], and there have been different personalities and it's never been an issue before," Julien said. "I haven't really had a chance to spend much time with Jagr, so I'm not going to comment on that because I'll take the time to get to know him. As a coach, you learn to deal with different personalities, and that's what this game is all about nowadays, and trying to deal with those personalities. Our team, our players have done a good job of blending everybody in. As coach, I've always tried to work on our strengths and learn to get to know them for what they are.
"You hear a lot of gossip out there, and a lot of times half of it is B.S., so I think we have to give this guy a chance," added Julien. "I know I like everything about him, and I'm also one of those guys that knows some of the things he likes to do and I respect those things."
During Chiarelli's news conference to announce the Jagr deal, the GM likened this transaction to the one when the Bruins acquired Mark Recchi at the trade deadline during the 2008-09 season. Recchi was 40 at the time; he spent two and a half seasons with the Bruins and helped them to a Stanley Cup title in 2011 before retiring. Jagr is 41 now and hopes for a similar outcome.
"He's a veteran and he wants to win another Cup. He's always been a true professional and we don't expect him to be any different with us. I have a feeling he'll fit in really well with our group," Julien said.
After the deal became official, a picture of Jagr with a 10-year-old Milan Lucic started to circulate on Twitter. After Boston's win over the Senators, Lucic, now 24, explained the history of that picture. During the 1998-99 NHL season, Lucic's uncle Dan Kesa was a teammate of Jagr's in Pittsburgh. When the Penguins played Lucic's hometown Vancouver Canucks, Lucic and his brothers were invited into Pittsburgh's locker room to meet Jagr, who was already 26 years old.
"That's when he was in his absolute prime," Lucic said. "For me and my brothers, for us as kids, it was pretty awesome to meet a guy like him. It was the same feeling today when you hear the news that you get to play with a legend like himself. It's going to be a great addition to our team and Claude said it best when he said, 'We're not looking for him to be the savior, we're looking for him to add on to this team' and hopefully make us better."
Lucic still has that picture in his bedroom at his parent's house in Vancouver.
"If you would have told me back then that we were going to be teammates down the road, I probably wouldn't have believed you," Lucic said with a smile. "But here we are today."
The NHL's trade deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday. Chiarelli is not done and will likely add another defenseman to the mix. From an offensive standpoint, in addition to Jagr the Bruins recently claimed Kaspars Daugavins off waivers from the Senators. He arrived in Boston and will be available to play on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils.
It was an interesting day for the Bruins. Jagr will help down the stretch and into the playoffs, but if Bergeron is sidelined for any amount of time it will hurt in a big way.
"Bergy's a big part of our team and he plays a lot of minutes," said linemate Brad Marchand. "When you see a guy go down, you're very worried but we hope he's going to be all right."
If the Bruins lose their heart and soul, it won't really matter what additions they make.