'Ouch' is the operative word, as Bruins await word on Bourque's shoulder


EDMONTON, Alberta -- Ouch.

Perhaps that four-letter word should be the Boston Bruins' battle cry. It was once again the prominent word when they learned defenseman Ray Bourque was their latest casualty.

His right shoulder aching, and in need of examination by Dr. Bert Zarins, Bourque left the club in Vancouver and took a flight back to Boston. He's expected to be sidelined at least through the weekend's games against the Oilers and Calgary Flames.

"There's something that's not right in there, on top of the shoulder," said Bourque, noticeably struggling to rotate the joint as he talked inside the club's dressing room in Vancouver following Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Canucks. "I'll go see Bert and see what he has to say, but right now it's pretty stiff in there."

According to Bourque, the injury occurred in the first period against Vancouver. He was up along the boards and his right arm was pulled up and out in an awkward position.

"I got my arm up in a funny position along the glass," said the team captain, who finished the game and assisted on Boston's only goal, by John Byce. "I was warm, so I was able to continue, but I couldn't hit anybody the rest of the night.

"It's just tight right now. I felt it pop a little after the hit. I don't know, we'll see what Bert says."

Bourque was in noticeable pain while performing even simple motions, such as pulling on his dress shirt -- hardly an optimistic picture.

"What can you do?" coach Mike Milbury asked. "It's not like bridge -- you can't pass."

Making matters worse, Cam Neely also had to skip the workout in Vancouver. The All-Star right wing has been nursing a bad cold since the start of the trip and his condition worsened before the game Wednesday night.

"I took a nap in the afternoon and felt awful when I got up," Neely said. "I was vomiting the whole night during the game, just brutal."

The bellyaches, bangs and bruises grow and grow. On Wednesday, with Garry Galley and Byce just back from their injuries, the Bruins lost the services of center Dave Poulin and right wing Lyndon Byers. Poulin pulled a groin in Tuesday's practice, the same session in which Byers banged up his left quadriceps muscle.

"It's time to roll up our sleeves," said Milbury. "I just want to see some spark, some indication that they want to play. If not, we'll just have to change the lineup.

"Harry [Sinden, Boston general manager-president] never lets these things go too long. He either fires the coach or makes a trade . . . and I think I'm OK, at least until Thanksgiving."

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