We found out following the Bruins' do-or-die Game Six that the alternate captain played with what turned out to be a broken rib, torn cartilage and a separated shoulder. That was heroic enough.
On Wednesday morning, it was announced that Bergeron has been under observation at a local hospital in Boston since the conclusion of the game. General Manager Peter Chiarelli said during the team's "break-up day" that in addition to those injuries, the center also has a small puncture in his lung, but that he is fine.
"Among other things, he had the rib cartilage that was damaged. He had a separated shoulder. In the course of getting a nerve block, he had a small hole in his lung," said the GM. "I’m not sure when that happened, so he played through all of this, and he was a warrior. I can’t say enough about his performance and what he did while being injured."
"There’s a freezing type of procedure, the nerve block, that Patrice opted to do so he could play in the game, and at some point - it could have been the cracked rib, there was a puncture in his lung. That’s why he was under observation following the game."
"If it had happened during the game, he would have felt the pain and then he wouldn’t have been able to play," added Chiarelli. "He would have been sent to the hospital and it would have been rectified."
Bergeron did, however, power through the broken rib, torn cartilage and separated shoulder. He spoke to media immediately following the game, before feeling obvious pain from those injuries and being taken to the hospital. It was not an urgent situation, but given the injuries, "it was something they wanted to look at," said B's Head Coach Claude Julien, who sat next to Chiarelli at the press conference podium, as the pair spoke with media.
Bottomline, Bergeron is fine, and as his teammate Adam McQuaid said, "in good spirits, he always is."
No. 37 is staying at the same hospital where McQuaid spent time last September for the thoracic outlet syndrome he has since recovered from.
"I actually visited him yesterday," said the defenseman, as he spoke to media for the final time this season. "It’s pretty crazy to think of what he was playing through."
"I know he’s looking forward to getting out and getting healthy and get back to playing next year."
And McQuaid wasn't the only Bruin who was inspired by their leader's determination to play through the toughest of circumstances to help his team towards their goal of winning another Stanley Cup for Boston.
"Just to get in that game and show what he did and do what he did was an inspiration I think to everybody," said veteran blueliner Wade Redden. "It just shows the character he has and the will and the amount that he cares. I think him as a leader, there’s a lot of guys who look up to him."
"And definitely that kind of character and that kind of will spreads through a team. I think he’s a great leader."
"I was talking to him this morning and last night," said Shawn Thornton, who added that he seems to be doing okay. "You can’t say enough about him. He’s an inspiration. He’s a man amongst boys, as far as the toughness goes."
"I think what he played through, I’m not sure how many guys could play through that, so it was pretty impressive, that's for sure."
There's a phrase that always comes up when talking about Patrice - and it's the fact that you never say enough about him, what he brings to the spoked-B as an athlete and person.
"I’m not going to go on about what a great guy Bergy is because you guys already know that," smiled veteran Chris Kelly. "And I hope he’s okay."
"Bergy, you can’t say enough about him," said his longtime linemate Brad Marchand. "He’s a warrior and the fact that he was able to play the whole game - I mean, every time I came off the bench, I kind of watched him and I could just see the pain and agony he was in."
"It was unbelievable to see him play through that and it just gives you that much more respect for him."
It's hard to believe that's even possible, but his teammates, coaches, management, so on and so forth, all knew exactly how much he gave in this Final - and postseason - and that was everything, absolutely everything.
"Well, I mean that’s - for Bergy, he’s a guy that, he’s the leader of our team, he’s a very dedicated individual, so I’m not surprised that he was willing to do that for the team," said Gregory Campbell, a Bruin who's had many a words spoken about him in the same context (see: infamous shot-blocking shift).
"And he’s always putting the team first."
"It’d be hard to find a guy 100 percent healthy that’s playing this deep into the season, and that’s why it’s so gratifying to win is because you do sacrifice so much over the two months and the season that unfolds before the playoffs, so it takes everybody and he was a huge part of this room that we had."
"Obviously it’s going to hurt the team when one of your best players is not 100 percent, but the respect that I have for Bergy and for what he did and put himself through - is tremendous."
Fellow centerman David Krejci also felt the deep effect Bergeron's will had (and constantly has) on the team.
"It was inspiration for us. He’s a leader. One of the best players on this team," said Krejci. "Even though he wasn't 100 percent, just having him on the bench in Game 6, it definitely gave us so much energy."
"He’s a warrior. We know he wasn’t fully able to play in Game 6 - but he did it."