– Patrice Bergeron
continues to be the consummate Bruin. No matter what needs to be done, he follows through.
Once again on Thursday night, Bergeron led the way for the B’s, delivering a goal and two assists – one on Tyler Seguin’s second period goal, and one on Seguin’s empty-netter – in helping end the Black & Gold’s short two-game skid, with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, in front of 17,565 at TD Garden.
The B’s alternate captain also registered a plus-3 rating and three shots on goal in 17:56 of ice time (that included 2:40 on the power play and 2:11 on the penalty kill, in which the Bruins were perfect).
Over the past nine games, the Bruins are 7-1-1 and Bergeron has tallied 4-10–14 totals over that stretch. He has been the leader of his line, with Seguin and Brad Marchand by his side, that has combined for 14 goals, 23 assists and 37 points over that same nine game span.
“When you’ve got a guy like Bergeron doing such a great job down in your own end, the puck gets out quicker,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien of what has the line clicking. “And then when you’ve got those guys on each side of you, there’s a pretty good attack going on. That’s a good line for us. I think all three of them deserve a lot of credit.”
Julien applauded the work of No. 37 and pointed to the fact that even if Bergeron loses a face off – which is extremely rare, he was 12 of 20 on Thursday – he never gives up on a play.
“It just says a lot,” the B’s bench boss said. “There’s so much that’s been said about him – all good. It’s very deserving. He doesn’t like to lose draws, but, if you lose a draw, for him it’s a mistake and he’s going to try and redeem himself as quick as he can. That’s just the reliability that comes with his game.”
Marchand, who had two assists against the Leafs, couldn’t express enough admiration for his linemate.
“He’s incredible,” Marchand said of Bergeron. “He’s an elite player in this league, and you saw he played for the [Canadian] Olympic team, and he’s got a Cup. He’s won at every level because of how great a player he is.
“When you have your top scorer playing defensively the way he does, it’s very encouraging, and it makes guys follow.”
Bergeron has been the perfect player for Marchand to try and emulate. No. 63 has been able to watch Bergeron first hand over the last three seasons and marvels at the professional approach he takes to the game.
“I think when I came here, Bergy was the guy that I always found myself watching because he’s the guy who always prides himself on getting better,” said Marchand. “He always wants to learn and improve his game, and whether it’s on or off the ice, you can see how he treats his body.
“He only puts good food in it and gets lots of sleep and makes sure he does all of the right things to continue being a better player.”