ANAHEIM, Calif. — Patrice Bergeron was asleep when the call came. It was about 6:30 a.m. on the West Coast and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who is a member of Team Canada’s management team, was on the other end. He left a voice-mail.
Bergeron made the team, the second time he’ll represent Canada in the Olympics, having won a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010.
And Bergeron won’t be the only member of the Bruins heading to Sochi in February. He’ll be joined by Slovakia’s captain Zdeno Chara, who called it a “huge honor,” Finland’s Tuukka Rask, and the Czech Republic’s David Krejci, whose roster spot was announced Monday. Loui Eriksson was also named to the Swedish team, though the winger hasn’t played since sustaining a concussion Dec. 7.
“Obviously really excited,” Bergeron said. “It’s a huge honor just to be named to that team and to be part of that 25. Looking forward to it.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien will be among those assisting Mike Babcock in coaching the Canadian Olympic team, and he sees a better Bergeron than the one who played in the last Games.
“He’s four years better,” Julien said. “He’s in the prime of his career right now. From that time to now, he’s won a Cup, he’s been in Finals a couple of times, he’s been put through a lot.’’ So there’s no doubt he’s a better player.
Rask is the only first-time Olympian on the Bruins, with the others having participated in Vancouver. He made a team especially strong in goal, with the Stars’ Kari Lehtonen and the Sharks’ Antti Niemi. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, who is recovering from hip woes, was not named to the Finnish team.
Finland won gold at the World Juniors. “We don’t get to celebrate golds too often, so they’re going to make the most out of that, and now maybe expectations are even higher for us going to the Olympics,” Rask said.
Lucic out sick
Milan Lucic , a late scratch Tuesday because of an illness — the first time the top line has not been intact this season — has said he believed he had done all he could to gain a spot as a power forward for Team Canada. The rugged winger though, was far from the biggest name left off that roster.
“It’s really hard,” Chiarelli told reporters in Toronto. “You’ve got to separate that and do what’s best for Hockey Canada and the Olympic team. Those players that play for you, you see what they do every day. They’ve brought a Cup to Boston, specifically, and the other managers can say that, too. So it’s real difficult. It’s the part of the job that wasn’t fun.”
Said Julien, “There were some real tough decisions that had to be made. We all know that there’s some good players that are left off the roster right now. But I think we feel pretty confident with the group that we have.”
Lucic is expected to return for Thursday’s game.
Caron not back yet
Jordan Caron was with the Bruins for their morning skate, but did not return against the Ducks. Justin Florek, who was an emergency recall on Monday, took his place on the fourth line and had an assist on Daniel Paille’s goal in the second period. “He didn’t do any extra skating,” Julien said of Caron, who had a stiff back. “He’s still laboring out there. So it was just a matter of getting him on the ice. Certainly not ready to go.’’ . . . Carl Soderberg knew he was not going to be considered for the Swedish Olympic team despite his good play this season after he ruffled feathers on the national team last season by leaving the national team to join the Bruins. He said last month he doesn’t regret it, but he hopes time heals the rift . . . Eriksson again skated with the team, but still has not been cleared for contact . . . Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg had successful surgery to repair the torn ACL and MCL in his right knee Tuesday morning . . . Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau had some complimentary words about the Bruins. “A tremendous challenge,’’ Boudreau said of playing Julien’s squad. “A team that goes to the Stanley Cup Finals every year, or wins it. To me, right now they’re the best club in the East and it’s going to be a real challenge for us to match their size and strength.’’
Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.