For Bruins center Patrice Bergeron
, who grew up rooting for the Quebec Nordiques, any trip to Montreal’s Bell Centre brings him closer to his family who live near Quebec City, and also to his own personal rivalry with the Habs.
Having lost his Nordiques to Denver, Colorado, then, being drafted by the Boston Bruins, made for an easy transition and certainly filled a gap.
Former Nordique fans and Bruins fans think alike, after all.
But even those strong feelings take a back seat to the real reason the center wants the Bruins to beat the Habs this week -- the playoffs.
After their setback in NYC, the next three games, two versus Montreal and one versus their American rivals, the New York Rangers, make it imperative that the Bruins win those three "four-point" games -- earning points and denying points to their Eastern Conference foes.
"It was a real disappointing game in New York," said Bergeron, who has a 7-7-14 line in 18 games versus the Habs. "And we are aware of that.
"Obviously, we have to work hard and compete to get some wins. We know it’s not going to be easy (but) we still have 11 games left, and we have some games in hand, and we have to take care of business.
"We just have go back to basics," said Bergy.
So the Bruins, who generally employ a strict defense-based system, will attempt to go back to those teachings as they hit the big ice on Rue de la Gauchetiere.
"Speaking for myself, I want to bring something more to the table," said the young assistant captain. "Everywhere -- offensively and defensively, in all the zones, and leadership wise, too."
That being said, don’t be surprised if Bergeron attempts to put the B’s on his back and carry them through the next trio of games. The club’s second leading scorer (20-43-63) is certainly capable of being a difference against his childhood nemesis.
"We need all the points (we can get)," said Bergeron before leaving for Canada on Monday. "The playoffs started early for us and we need to be ready to play some intense hockey and get some wins."
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