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The Return Of Bergy

Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim is expected to be in the lineup for first time since April 26, 2012.

Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:00 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Return Of Bergy
Forward Sean Bergenheim (Getty Images)

Forward Sean Bergenheim stood outside the Panthers locker room, talking to the media Friday morning about his most likely return to the lineup Friday night against the Sabres when asked about finally seeing his first action in a long time.

Walking by, fellow forward Tomas Kopecky shouted out "two years" as the answer to that question and while it hasn't exactly been that long since Bergenheim last played (April 26, 2012), the forward did admit that there will most likely be some butterflies.

"I'm not nervous right now but I'm sure I'll get some butterflies before the game here tonight," said Bergenheim. "Kind of just feeling really good and ready. That's what the feeling I have right now."

Bergenheim last skated for the Panthers in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against New Jersey, leading the way for the Cats with six points (3-3-6) in the seven games. That followed up his first regular season in a Panthers uniform where he posted a career-high 17 goals.

After going through multiple surgeries while missing the entire season, Bergenheim has missed the game the most.

"I'm really happy to be back. For sure I've missed this," said Bergenheim. "It's been a while but to be honest I don't feel it's been that long. Like when I look at how many months it's been since I played, I don't feel that on the ice."

Going through multiple surgeries, Bergenheim said that he was off the ice for about nine months, the most since he started skating at the age of three and while other Panthers have played around 15 games already (including pre-season), he wants to catch up as soon as possible.

"I take it one game at a time. I think tonight is one game and I'm going to build on that," said Bergenheim. "I'm sure there's going to be ton of stuff I can do better then Sunday game's come and I'll play better than what I did today and then the next game and so forth. I just want to build on every game and catch these guys. Hopefully I feel that I have been playing the whole time as soon as I can. I just want to get my game to that level as soon as I can."

All Bergenheim is looking forward to do from the get go is bring his normal game.

"In the end, the mindset, the battling and the energy and all that I'm sure I can provide," said Bergenheim. "Then it's the position and shots and all the quick plays you need to make. I'm sure I'm going to need to get adjusted really quick on that."

Bergenheim skated on a line with Scott Gomez and Jesse Winchester at Friday's morning skate and when asked about it following the session, head coach Kevin Dineen said that he won't be worked in slowly.

"There's no such thing as working anybody in slowly," said Dineen. "This is the NHL and you better be prepared or it's not going to work out for you."

And that's because Dineen likes to roll four lines when he can so Bergenheim should see plenty of shifts when he returns.

"We like to think of ourselves as a four line team that we have to roll our whole group and when we do that and we do it effectively and we have everyone running it makes a difference," said Dineen. "Over the course of games we shortened things up at different spots.

"Four lines going and going hard makes for a pretty effective team."




1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

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