After Tom Brady officially became a Tampa Bay Buccaneer Patrice Bergeron grabbed the torch as Boston’s longest standing athlete. While Zdeno Chara deserves credit for turning around the Boston Bruins organization after arriving in 2006, Bergeron has actually been around even longer than Big Z.
Bergeron came into the league as an 18 year old for the 2004 season. As a rookie Bergeron potted 16 goals and racked up 39 points in 71 games. Bergeron would wait a full year to enter his sophomore campaign after the NHL lockout wiped out the 2005 season.
It did not take long for Bergeron to earn the respect of his teammates, coaches, and opponents. In just his 2nd year in the NHL Bergeron was selected as one of Boston’s alternate captains.
Bergeron is known as one of the best 2 way forwards in the NHL. Last season was the 8th straight year he was a finalist for the Selke Trophy, which is awarded to the best defensive forward in the league. He has won the award four times, one short of passing Montreal icon Bob Gainey for most all time. He is a fantastic penalty killer, especially when paired with Brad Marchand. Those two consistently cause absolute headaches for power play units.
Bergeron has no trouble in the offensive zone as well. Especially the last few seasons, mostly skating with Marchand and David Pastrnak, Bergeron is occasionally the engine that drives the 'perfection' line. He already had tremendous chemistry with Marchand, as the two have been skating together for almost a decade now. Adding Pastrnak to that pairing created the best line in hockey.
Bergeron has also produced in the playoffs for Boston. He has risen to the occasion many times wearing 37 in Black and Gold, (Tying and beating the Leafs in Game 7 of the 2013 first round, two goals to help sweep Carolina in the 2019 ECF) One game really stands out so far in the 34 year old's career.
Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. In Vancouver with The Cup in the building, Boston had a chance to raise Lord Stanley for the first time since 1972. Bergeron put together the game of his life. He got the scoring started on a drive from the slot after a slick feed from Marchand. Boston had the lead with 5:23 to go in the 1st.
Then Bergeron had a breakaway chance while killing a penalty late in the 2nd. After getting hauled down and drawing a penalty of his own, the puck slid past Roberto Luongo and in. That score broke the Canucks. Boston would go on to win 4-0.
Bergeron would be the fourth Bruin to hoist The Cup that night, after Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi. Bergeron then handed Lord Stanley over to Tim Thomas.
Bergeron epitomizes what a Boston athlete should be. He plays through incredible injuries to help give his team a chance to win. He continues to try and improve aspects of his game. He is revered by the rest of the league. He gives back to the community. Bergeron is exactly the player and person New Enlgand should want representing their region in the world of sports.
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