Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
 

Bergeron becoming focal point of B's depleted roster

Thursday, 10.22.2009 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Battered and bruised, the Boston Bruins arrived here for Thursday night's game against Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network) with a smile on their face.

Despite missing top forwards Marc Savard (broken foot) and Milan Lucic (broken index finger), they were able to skate past the Nashville Predators, 3-2, Wednesday night.

With a new-look lineup that included rookies Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand, it was veterans Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder and Steve Begin scoring the goals.

"First period, it was almost like we were trying to get a feel for each other and playing on our heels a little bit," said coach Claude Julien. "Basically, we were playing afraid to lose. But at some point you've got to start playing to win and have confidence in your team. For the most part our lines got better as the game wore on. Hopefully it bodes well."

It needs to, as the Bruins will be without Savard and Lucic for at least a month each.

"You can't replace Savvy or Lucic with one guy," said Bergeron. "Everyone's got to step up. We can't put the excuses on the guys who we're missing."

"Guys have stepped up for me in previous years. I guess I'm on the other side now." -- Patrice Bergeron

The lines in Nashville featured Bergeron between Marchand (in his first NHL game) and Ryder; David Krejci centering Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi; Trent Whitfield between Sobotka and Blake Wheeler; and Begin centering Daniel Paille and Byron Bitz.

The key player going forward will be Bergeron. He played just 10 games in 2007-08 due to a concussion and still wasn't really himself last season, when he played just 64 games. This season, he has 3 goals and 6 points in eight games.

"Guys have stepped up for me in previous years," said Bergeron. "I guess I'm on the other side now."

"For me, Patrice has probably been our best and most consistent forward since the beginning of the year," said Julien. "Every game, he's been a pretty good player. Even in those games where we haven't played well, at the end of the night, you could say that he was one guy that was there for us. It's nice.

"He's got a couple guys who can produce on his line and certainly gave him that little boost. The youth in Marchand, and I find that Ryder has been skating much better the last three games or so. He seems to have picked up his skating. It made for a pretty good line."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com.


Quote of the Day

The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series