Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron isn’t the 7th best center in the NHL

Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron #37 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron #37 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The NHL Network recently released programming that that ranked Boston Bruins center, Patrice Bergeron as the seventh best center in the league. An underrating if ever we saw one.

While it’s fair to say that Patrice Bergeron is certainly a veteran, both on the list and in the Boston Bruins’ locker-room, this is a player that now has nine consecutive Selke Trophy nominations.

Ranking Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon above him is perfectly fair, given the potential to exceed even their current skill levels. Likewise Leon Draisaitl, while Sidney Crosby has adapted his game over the years and is definitely worthy of his spot at number four.

It’s the ranking of Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel above Patrice Bergeron that definitely irks us. These are players that the Boston Bruins regularly play against and neither has quite done anything to deserve their spot.

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Sure, Auston Matthews won the Calder Trophy in his debut season and trailed just David Pastrnak and Alex Ovechkin in goals this year, but his all-round game still leaves a bit to be desired.

Likewise, Jack Eichel may have put his Buffalo Sabres team on his back and tried his utmost to drag them up the standings, but they’re not even in the play-in games for this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

To rank these two above the Boston Bruins center isn’t quite disrespectful but certainly marks a slightly warped view of what makes a good center in today’s NHL.

While Matthews had 16 more goals than Patrice Bergeron, Eichel only had 5 more; in the scheme of things, that really isn’t many when you factor in the extra 2 minutes Auston sees on average per game and the extra 4 minutes Jack does.

Moreover, Matthews and Eichel have a long way to go to get near the Boston Bruins center in face-offs. His winning percentage of 57.9% puts Matthews’ 55% and Eichel’s 46.8% in the shade.

Neither are there on the penalty kill either and while this may highlight that the Boston Bruins have a different approach, it doesn’t exactly shape them as better centers in my eyes.

Of course, lists like this one are produced to create discussion among fans of the league and this one has done just that.

Next. An injured goalie presents a big challenge. dark

How though, you can rank two youngsters still improving their games above a four-time Selke Trophy winner who is still good for 30 goals a season in his thirties, I don’t know?!