BostonBruins.com – For Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, it’s still hard to see the benefits of a first-round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
But the eight-year veteran knows that the summertime offseason – regardless of how short or long it may be – is the right time to reflect and improve for the upcoming season.
“I mean right now, it’s hard to see,” Bergeron said. “But yeah, I’m trying every year to get better, you want to improve and I think every year there’s always something to learn.
“It’s about just realizing what could be better, what can be better and I think it takes a while to realize. I think it’s about going in to the summer to recharge and get better, but also I think it’s going to take me quite long to think about what we could’ve changed.”
In Bergeron’s case, his recharging will come in the form of recuperating from the strained oblique muscle he suffered in Game 3 against the Washington Capitals.
According to Bergeron, the injury was aggravated in Game 5 and in Games 6 and 7 he was unable to take faceoffs – one of the forward’s strongest assets.
“The last two games I was playing probably just 60 percent of my normal,” he said.
Once Bergeron recovers from his injury, he said the focus has to be turned towards next year.
Regardless of the team’s outcome, the Bruins alternate captain always puts a premium focus on his own individual improvements and he encourages his team to do the same.
“I didn’t go into the summer [last year] saying, ‘Everything’s done and I don’t need to be any better,’” Bergeron said. “And it’d be foolish to be doing that so this year’s no different.
“I think each and every year everyone gets better, everyone wants to be better. The teams are improving and it’s about you staying above that and trying to be the best that you can and this summer’s going to be no different.
"We all need to do that look yourself in the mirror type of thing and just bring more. But you always need to do that even if you win a championship.”