Patrice Bergeron (center) addressed the media Thursday afternoon. (Photo: John Bishop)
Boston, MA --
Thursday afternoon, Patrice Bergeron
walked slowly out to the dais set up for him in the Will McDonough Press Room at the TD Banknorth Garden, accompanied by his boss, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli.
The normally cat-like Bergeron was anything but as he negotiated the steps between the Bruins locker room and the table on the riser. Once he sat down, however, the Rocket Richard-like eyes on the Quebec native shone brightly.
"I remember pretty much the whole thing," said Bergeron with less force than his eyes belayed. "Before I had seen the hit there were some parts I couldn’t remember.
"I couldn’t really remember why I was going for the puck, and what I was going to do with it.
"After watching the play I realized and remembered I was going to pass the puck to Chucky (Kobasew), who was on the other side of the net," he said.
Bergeron still feels the effects of the hit -- all the time.
"Obviously I would be lying if I said I feel good right now," he said. "It’s tough for me to be sitting here. I feel a lot of the symptoms from the concussion and so far it’s hard for me to walk…I feel kind of dizzy and lightheaded. Day-to-day, stuff I would normally do is tough (but) so far there has been improvement from last week. I look at that as a positive and look forward to getting better."
The inevitable questions about the hit came next.
"Personally I think it was a hit from behind," said Patrice, who decided to make himself an example to all hockey players. "Right now the point I’m here is to send a message for guys to think about the consequences when you go for a hit like that.
"You have to hold back -- hitting is a part of the game, but not from behind.
"We have to respect each other a little bit more. I know I’m not the only one who has been saying that this past year. Something needs to be done. We have to think about the consequences when you’re on the ice.
Bergeron went as far as to say exactly what everyone around hockey had been thinking ever since he was carted off the Garden ice on October 27th.
"I’m sure no one wants to be in my position right now," he said, obviously beginning to tire just from talking. "But at the same time it could be worse, I’m actually walking.
"We need to make something happen before it’s too late."
Asked about Flyers defenseman Randy Jones apology, Bergeron was honest.
"He left a message last week," said Patrice. "Obviously, I wasn’t really feeling comfortable to talk on the phone to pretty much anyone.
"(But) he left a message apologizing, saying that he didn’t mean to do that (and) obviously I’m not here to say anything bad about Randy Jones.
"It’s more about trying to change things to make sure it is not going to happen to anyone else," he said.
As far as his own prospects, Bergeron was unequivocal in his belief in his return.
"I am sure I will be back," he said in summation.