#37- Patrice Bergeron – forecheck from Quebec.

June 4, 2011; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron during game two of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The Canucks won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Patrice Bergeron was selected by the Boston Bruins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.  He was taken in the second round, bring fourty-fifth overall.  Bergeron played his first NHL game(and as a Bruin) on October 8th, 2003 against New Jersey. It only took him a week to score his first point in a game against Dallas, and he earned his first goal(and game winning goal) in a contest against the LA Kings three days later.  Even with suffering a shoulder injury that took him out for eleven games, Patrice put up thirty-nine points and was chosed to participiate in the NHL Young Stars Game during the All-Star break.

With the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Bergeron played for Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He racked up sixty-one points playing for the baby B’s At the time, he was the youngest player in the AHL.  He had earned player of the week honors, and added another twelve points to his total as he helped the Providence Bruins reach the Eastern Confrence finals in the playoffs.

When hockey resumed for the 2005-2006 season, #37 led the Bruins in scoring with thirty-one goals and seventy-three points. He was the youngest player in Bruins history to record a thirty-goal season.  The Bruins general manager at the time, Mike O’Connell, recalled in a June 2011 interview that the Bruins chose to build the team around Bergeron instead of their captain Joe Thornton(who was traded to San Jose). O’Connell had been impressed around Bergeron’s skill and work ethic. Bergeron was selected by the Bruins to receive the team’s 7th Player Award as the player most deemed to have exceeded expectations. The next season Bergeron continued to excel. Under a defensive system enacted by coach Dave Lewis, Bergeron was able to put up twenty two gals and forty-eight assists.  He put up his 200th career game and his 100th career assist that season.  Bergeron had also racked up a nine and a ten game point streak, despite being hampered the majority of the season by a nagging shoulder injury.

The 2007-2008 started out well for #37. In his first ten games he had already added seven points to his career totals. (three goals, four assists) Bergeron suffered a severe head injury during a game on October 27, 2007. He was hit  from behind by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones. Bergeron’s head went hard into the boards, knocking him unconscious. (Jones was later suspended for that hit.) Patrice was diagnosed with a broken nose and a grade-three concussion. It was determined by the doctors and the staff that Bergeron should be out for the season after an attempt to return in March was sidelined by post-concussion problems. Bergeron wanted to get back in though. He put himself into the Bruins development camp for the ’08-’09 season(a camp usually reserved for starting players)

Bergeron’s dedication to hockey never waivered. The 2008–09 season began.  Bergeron scored his first goal since his concussion on October 23, 2008,against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Later in the season, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 20, 2008, things took a turn for the worse. Bergeron collided with Dennis Seidenberg, suffering another concussion. While he wasn’t carried off in a stretcher, he had to be hospitialized for observation. He was released from the hospital the next day and placed on injured reserve. Bergeron was out for a month after that, but he remained a productive player. Bergy completed the season with thirty-nine points. The young Bruin added another milestone to his career that year, recording his first career fighting major on April 18th, 2009, in a tussle with  the Montreal Canadiens Josh Gorges.

The 2009-2010 had an interruption to it while the Olympic Games were being played. Bergeron played for Canada, and that year the Canadians struck gold against a US team in the hockey finals. Back in the land of the Bruin, #37 had had his first fifty point season since the big concussion, and a career high twenty-eight penalty minutes. His recovery season also included thirteen playoff games with four goals and eleven assists before getting knocked out of the playoffs.

Then there was the season we’re all still talking about. The 2010-2011 season. The season where we won it all. Bergeron earned his first career NHL hat trick (Jack Edwards speech regarding Bergy speaks volumes better than I can probably write.) against the Senators on January 11, 2011. Bergy finished third in scoring that year in the regular season. His fifty-seven points helped us work our way into one of the longest and toughest Stanley Cup Playoffs in history. Bergeron was a beast, working the entire series to make the Bruins advance all the way to the Finals.  In the final game of the season, with it all on the line… Bergy was Bergy.  Bergy had already scored the first goal of the night, and then scored the amazing short handed goal. I think we all know what happened after that.

Bergeron was one of the players that didn’t seem affected by the summer hangover. He again finished second in the league in scoring.  He led the NHL in plus/minus at +36. He was  first in NHL faceoff wins with 978 and second in faceoff wins at 59.3% . Bergy reached the 20-goal mark for the fourth time and led the Bruins with forty two assists. 81 points matched his career-high in 2005-06.  He had fifteen multiple point games last season. Finally, Patrice Bergeron is just the 26th member of the IIHF’s Triple-Gold Club.  (player who has won an Olympic Gold medal, World Championship Gold and a Stanley Cup championship) His outstanding dedication won him a much deserved Selkie this year.

He is loved by the Nation, he is respected by his opponents, and admired by his opponents. A lot of players are the brains, the heart, or the muscle of a team.  It is safe to say that Monsuier Bergeron-Cleary is the soul of the Bruins. AllezLesBruins!

 

Feb 25, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Boston Bruins player Patrice Bergeron (37) in second period action against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Bruins defeated the Senators 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Boston Bruins, NHL, Patrice Bergeron, Selkie Award

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