Boston, MA --
|Bergeron, after the goal.
On Monday, after the Pittsburgh game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien talked about Patrice Bergeron
“He’s one of our heart and soul players,” he said. “The guy was really missed last year and what he does every day for our team, in practice or games, he always leads by example.
“His work ethic is second to none, and besides his skill level being extremely high, he’s as important as any key guy on any team in the league.”
Julien had no reservations about his center’s game.
“He’s very demanding of himself,” he said. “(Look at) his involvement, his work ethic -- to me there’s no hesitation in his play.
“I think overall we couldn’t ask for more from him at this stage.”
Later in the week, Coach Julien added, “We’re extremely pleased he’s creating opportunities, he’s in the right spots…right now, he just needs that confidence to score on a regular basis.”
On Thursday night, Bergeron delivered the goal that signaled that the forward was fully recovered from the concussion that nearly ended his career last October.
“I’m obviously happy it’s behind me and I can look forward now that I got that first one,” said Bergeron, before he shifted attention away from himself and back onto his team. “But I’m not happy about the way we played.
“Obviously we need those points, especially against a team in our division. “
Putting the loss aside, Bergeron, who was clearly more concerned with helping the Bruins get back on the winning side things,was finally able to talk about regaining his scoring touch.
“Well it’s nice to contribute on the scoreboard,” said Patrice. “I was feeling great even though I wasn’t scoring, the chances were there.
“I just (had) to keep going.
“But to just get back at it, play hockey, have fun, my passion, and obviously scoring goals was part of (the comeback),” he said.
For a long while during his recovery, Bergeron wasn’t able to skate or shoot, and his determination and ability to focus were the only things that kept him on track for returning to the NHL.
“I believe in the mental part of the game and I’m always working on that,” he said. “That’s something that I’ve been doing even before (the concussion).”
Thank goodness, he never stopped.