LAS VEGAS – There are plenty of Bruins fans here to cheer on Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara during Wednesday night's NHL Awards, but from the sound of it, nobody is a bigger Bergeron fan than Chara – and vice versa.
|Chara & Bergeron |
Asked about the changes he's seen in Boston since Chara joined him in Black & Gold before the 2006-07 season and Bergeron answered, "Yeah, he's been huge.
"Ever since he came to Boston, he's [made] a huge impact on all of us, on-and-off the ice.
"Obviously, he's our captain and our leader," continued the Selke trophy candidate. "And you know, we're, obviously, looking up to him.
"He's a great guy; great person and a great player."
Chara, a Norris Trophy nominee, said Bergeron's importance to Boston sometimes flies under the radar in hockey circles, but doesn't go unnoticed by those players actually wearing the spoked-B.
"I don't think that many people know that Patrice, [who] is a pretty young player, has accomplished so much," said Chara. "When you look at it, he's a member of triple gold [as a World Junior, Olympic and Stanley Cup-winner].
"You have a few players like that, but not too many," added Chara. "I mean, certainly not too many at his age that were able to accomplish that.
"He does everything that he's been asked to do and he does it on a daily basis. You know, I really enjoy the fact that any time he steps on the ice, he makes all his [linemates] better."
Bergeron said the same of Chara.
"The way he helps us on the ice by his ability, his skills, is something that we sometimes rely on, but it's something that we need," said Boston's alternate captain. "Off the ice…he's our leader. He always does the right thing to make us accountable for one another and I can't say enough about Zee."
And the captain's words spoke volumes about Bergeron.
"To have him in a key situation on the ice makes everybody's job easier because you know…he's going to get his job done," said Chara. "And it's only few…players in the league – that are capable of playing that kind of two-way game.
"I think there's no doubt that he's gonna win this year's Selke."