Boston Bruins: What to expect from Patrice Bergeron in 2020-21

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins warms up prior to an Eastern Conference Round Robin game against the Washington Capitals during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins warms up prior to an Eastern Conference Round Robin game against the Washington Capitals during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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What should we expect from the Boston Bruins’ veteran center, Patrice Bergeron, in 2020-21?

In 2018-19, Patrice Bergeron had the best season of his storied career for the Boston Bruins. In just 65 games, he tied his career-best in goals with 32 and set a career-high in points with 79.

However, in 2019-20, he seemed to take a slight step back. The goal-scoring ability was still there as he scored 31 goals in just 61 games, however, he didn’t seem to have the playmaking knack he had the year before as he registered just 25 assists compared to 47 the previous season.

Defensively, he was one of the best again. He dominated the faceoff circle, winning over 57% of his faceoffs, and was the runner up to the Frank J. Selker Trophy.

So, what can we expect from Bergeron in 2020-21?

The offensive expectations for Boston Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron in 2020-21.

Over the last three seasons, Bergeron has averaged 31 goals a season. Suiting up for 190 of the possible 234 games, this is a 0.49 goals per game pace.

Bergeron also has 105 assists and 198 points, since the 2017-18 season. These average out to a 0.55 assists per game pace and 1.04 points per game pace.

With the NHL and NHLPA planning to play 56 games in 2020-21, I think Bergeron will play around 44 to 50 of them. With him missing 44 games over the last three seasons, that’s an average of 14.7 missed games over this period, I just cannot expect him to play every game or anything with three games of that.

Going off the expected number of games I think Bergy will play and his paces over the last three seasons, I think he will record 21 to 25 goals, 24 to 28 assists, and 45 to 52 points in 2020-21.

However, when I factor in that his usual linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are expected to miss some time due to offseason surgeries, there’s a strong possibility he should score a bit less than this.

So, I would actually have him around 15 to 25 goals, 18 to 28 assists, and 33 to 52 points.

I brought down the lower end of his expectations by getting the goals-per-game, assists-per-game, and points-per-game averages from the span of 2013-14 to 2015-16 and multiplying them by 44. These were the three seasons before Pastrnak joined Marchand and Bergeron on the first line.

These averages were 0.35 goals per game, 0.41 assists per game, and 0.77 points per game.

The defensive expectations for Boston Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron.

Over the last three seasons, Bergeron has averaged a 57.2 faceoff percentage (FO%), 49.3 blocked shots, 45.7 hits, 47 takeaways, and 30.3 turnovers.

Paced out per game, these come out to 0.78 blocked shots per game, 0.72 hits per game, 0.74 takeaways per game, and 0.48 turnovers per game.

With this, I expect Bergy to win 56% to 58% of his faceoffs and have 34 to 39 blocked shots, 31 to 36 hits, 32 to 37 takeaways, and 21 to 24 turnovers in 2020-21.

Furthermore, Bergeron has been in the top three for Selke voting for the last nine straight seasons, so I expect that streak to continue for a tenth season.

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Offensive expectations: 15 to 25 goals, 18 to 28 assists, 33 to 52 points.

Defensive expectations: 56 to 58 FO%, 34 to 39 blocked shots, 31 to 36 hits, 32 to 37 takeaways, 21 to 24 turnovers, and top three in Selker Trophy voting.