Patrice Bergeron comes up big for the Boston Bruins tonight.


I’ll go on record in saying that the Boston Bruins made one of their smartest decisions in recent memory when they chose to recruit Patrice Bergeron in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.  When Bergeron was drafted, Bruins scout Dan Dore said this of the now Bruins alternate (but not for much longer) captain.  “He is a great playmaker with excellent vision of the ice.”  That statement has held up under the test of time.

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Bergeron was the only producer for the B’s tonight in a game that had Bruins fans grasping their drinks tightly and hurling original swear combinations at their TV. The Boston Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 2-1 in a shootout tonight, bringing their total to 95 points on the season. Sadly, both the Detroit Red Wings and the Ottawa Senators both clinched wins as well, so the overall playoff breakdown hasn’t changed at all.

Bergeron scored early in the second period in a game that saw the B’s put an incredible amount of offensive firepower in on the net.  Bergeron scored just nineteen seconds into the second period, and it looked like the Bruins were about to go on a tear. In all, the Boston Bruins put in fifty shots on goal against the Maple Leafs’ James Reimer. Reimer has had a disappointing season this year for Toronto. He’s got a three-plus goals against average and a marginal .905 save percentage going into tonight.

Then for no apparent reason, Reimer started playing like it was game eight in the 2013 playoffs. For a while it looked like the Bruins had played another game where the made a sub-par goaltender look like a potential Vezina candidate. While Reimer was having one of his best games of his career, a lot of shots were being directed at the blue leaf in the center of Reimer’s chest.

It got even more nerve-wracking when James van Riemsdyk got credit for a goal that bounced off Tuukka Rask‘s pads and went backwards into the net.

“He is a great playmaker with excellent vision of the ice.” – Dan Dore Bruins scout on his impression of Patrice Bergeron

The remainder of the sixty minutes of regulation failed to break the deadlock. The overtime period failed to make any difference as well. So, the Bruins went to a shootout, and the collective groan from the TD Garden was audible. Then the Bruins chose to give up the first shot to Toronto, and the fans again became energized. Five shooters attempted to get pucks past the two goaltenders, but only one of them had the patience and perseverance to wait and take the right shot at the right time.

No surprises here, that it was Patrice Bergeron who locked it up for the Black and Gold tonight. Once again, Bergeron came up huge for the Bruins by making a solid shot

Let’s be honest, a lot of us look at that spot in the TD Garden where Bergeron’s number will hang one day. We can already imagine a space opening up between Terry O’Reilly and Raymond Bourque.  We can already see that number 37 just sliding in there to sit for the remainder of Bruins history. It’s going to look good there.

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