On Tuesday, July 27, at 10:00 a.m., Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron sent ripples through the hockey world and announced his retirement from the NHL. The Bruins captain announced via the team’s social media page that he would hang up his skates after 20 years of service to the Bruins.
Bergeron finished his career with 427 goals, 613 assists, and 1,040 points in 1,065 games played for Boston. In addition to his regular season stats, Bergeron posted 50 goals, 78 assists, and 128 points in 170 playoff games. Bergeron holds the record for most Selke Trophies of all time (6) and also earned a Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2021, a King Clancy Trophy in 2013, and an NHL Foundation Player Award in 2014.
The captain leaves an impeccable legacy that will ultimately earn his jersey a spot in the TD Garden rafters and his name in the hockey hall of Fame. Bergeron will live forever in the hearts and minds of Bruins fans everywhere. His devotion to the franchise, and to the city of Boston, will never be forgotten. In honor of Bergeron’s retirement, The Causeway Crowd has decided to compile a definitive ranking of the top 10 moments in Patrice Bergeron’s career.
10. Patrice Bergeron scores his first NHL Goal – 10/15/03
I mean, was there really any other way to start this list? It may not have been the most significant goal in the most significant game, but the first goal of Bergeron’s career did propel him forward and start the chain reaction that ignited his hall-of-fame career. In a regular season game against the Vancouver Canucks, Bergeron potted his first goal off a Brian Rolston shot. Rolston and Sergei Samsonov assisted the goal that started it all for the Bruins legend.
9. Four-Goal Game vs. Detroit – 11/14/21
This was a relatively insignificant regular-season game for the Bruins. It was early in the season, and they hadn’t even reached the Thanksgiving threshold. But I’ll never forget this game because Patrice Bergeron was criticized for his start to the season.
Through seven games in the 2021-22 season, Patrice Bergeron had produced zero goals, three assists and held a +1 plus-minus rating. Sports radio hosts in Boston debated whether Bergeron was washed up, and fans were nervous about their aging captain. So how did Bergeron respond? He notched four goals in one game against the Red Wings, silencing the critics and proving his effectiveness.
8. Double OT Winner vs. Montreal – 4/9/04
Bergeron proved to Bruins fans early on in his career that he could score clutch goals in big moments. The young 2004 bruins team was a heavy underdog against the heavily-favored Montreal Canadiens. That rag-tag group had the gumption and heart to push Montreal all the way to a Game 7, despite the series looking lopsided on paper. In the second overtime of game two, Bergeron took a neutral zone touch pass from Samsonov and carried the puck from the center dot all the way to the high slot, wiring a puck of Jose Theodore’s glove and into the net. This was the first of Bergeron’s four playoff overtime goals and quite a memorable one at that.
7. Winter Classic Game-Winner vs. Philadelphia – 1/1/10
Who could forget the first ever Winter Classic to take place at Fenway Park? The beautiful snowy backdrop juxtaposed against the monster green of America’s most beloved ballpark, the mustard gold of the Bruins specially-designed Winter Classic jerseys, and Patrice Bergeron making winning plays. In overtime the then assistant captain made a no-look pass off the stick of Marco Sturm for a win. It was the first of many Winter Classics for the Boston Bruins and its story can’t be told without Patrice Bergeron.
6. Bergeron Returns from Concussion – 9/22/08
Bruins fans had their worlds shaken when Patrice Bergeron suffered a grotesque concussion at the hands of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones. He was diagnosed with grade-III concussion and a broken nose following the vicious hit. Some wondered if Bergeron would ever play hockey again, given the violent nature of the injury and the complications a head injury can lead to. But Bergeron proved unflappable in the face of adversity, returning in the preseason and posting a goal and two assists in the first exhibition game against the Montreal Canadiens. It was the first major injury in a career that would be defined by playing through injury, pushing through pain, and redefining the word toughness.
5. Patrice Bergeron Registers his 1,000th point
The 2022-23 season was one that Bergeron lead the Boston Bruins to the greatest regular season in NHL history. This season was special for a plethora of reason: the return of Krejci and Bergeron, the win streaks, the trade deadline acquisitions, etc. But without a doubt the biggest moment of this regular season was captain Patrice Bergeron notching his 1,000th point. This solidified Bergeron’s status as a Hall of Fame forward and cemented his legacy as the best two-way player of all time.
4. Bergeron Wins his 6th Selke
This award is what put Bergeron over the top as a ‘two-way’ forward. The Bruins legend won his record 6th Selke Trophy and again proved that he’s a standout performer in the NHL. Bergeron has always been a dominating force on the defensive end of the ice, and the tweet below shows you just how much voters have thought of him and his play over the past 12 seasons. With this award he broke the record for most Selke trophies and left behind no doubt that he is the best defensive forward of this era.
3. Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 2013 Conference Finals – 6/5/13
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were at the absolute height of there powers when the Boston Bruins took on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. The black and gold blanketed the Penguins over the first two games of the series, taking a firm 2-0 grasp of the series. The game lasted late into the night as the Penguins and Bruins took a 1-1 stalemate into a second overtime. Brad Marchand was able to capitalize on a Malkin turnover and fired a pass with purpose off Bergeron’s stick and into the back of the net. Patrice Bergeron put the finishing touches on Game 3 and the Bruins would go on to stun the Penguins, sweeping them in four games and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.
2. Game 7 vs. Toronto, 2013 1st Round – 5/13/13
With 10:44 remaining in the third period, Boston trailed 4-1. Boston was on home ice against the lower seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. All hope seemed lost and the Bruins seemed to be headed for a disappointing first round exit…not so fast. Nathan Horton started off the scoring and then Milan Lucic added the team’s third goal with only 1:22 remaining. After that, one of the greatest comebacks in sports history took place on the back of Patrice Bergeron. He scored with 51 seconds remaining and then, in overtime, he potted the winner off a turnover in front by Jake Gardiner. Bergeron galvanized the Bruins to a 5-4 win and eventually took them to the Stanley Cup final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
1. Game 7 vs. Vancouver, 2011 Stanley Cup Finals – 6/15/11
“After 30 long years the cup is back home,” proclaimed then-Bruins radio voice Dave Goucher. The Boston Bruins ended the championship drought in their history defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Bergeron scored the first and third goals of the game, one of a one-timer in the slot and the other on a shorthanded partial breakaway. This Stanley Cup victory eternalized Bergeron’s legacy in Boston and memorialized his status as an icon, a superstar, and a legend for this franchise.
Honorable Mention: Two-time Gold Medalist
I think an underrated part of Patrice Bergeron’s Hall of Fame resume is his performance on an international level. Bergeron was a member of the 2010 Canadian Olympic Team that took part in one of the greatest hockey games of my lifetime. Crosby scored off Ryan Miller in overtime to give Canada the gold and dash the US’ hope of finishing first at the Olympics. Bergeron then played on Crosby’s wing at the 2014 Olympics where the Canadians again went on to win gold, blanking Sweden 3-0. Bergeron has done his best work in a bruins sweater, but his Olympic play can’t be overlooked.