BostonBruins.com -- An enthusiastic Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien sung the praises of recently re-signed Bruins Forward Patrice Bergeron this morning at a press conference in Prague.
“We’re talking about conditioning. We’re talking about every day, coming to the rink with the right attitude and with a purpose.
“He never has a bad practice," said Julien of Bergeron. "He always wants to be the best player out there,”
Still relatively young (he's only 25), Bergeron's leadership on the team may be surprising to some, but for Coach Julien, it is easy to see why the young forward should be an alternate captain for his club.
“His professionalism and his enthusiasm for the game just rubs off on a lot of people, and he’s earned the respect of the whole organization and especially his teammates by the way he conducts himself,” he said.
Bergy’s road to success with the Bruins has not been wanting of challenges. He suffered two back-to-back concussions that caused him to miss much of the ’07-’08 season.
“When it first happened, there was obviously fear in everybody, and I still remember that arena being so quiet and as a coach and players and really rattled the whole bench,” remembered Coach of Patrice’s first concussion during his own first season coaching the B’s. “And then he suffered the second concussion and then you start worrying again.
"But he came back after that second concussion, his game really picked up from there on in and, by the end of the year, he was arguably our best player,”
Julien continued by saying that the club can help him perform to his highest potential, offensively.
“To his defense, he hasn’t always been given the wingers for him to maybe perform offensively even better that he has, and that’s something that we have in mind," said Julien. “We’d like to be able to give him that this year and then see if he can’t, again, exceed everybody’s expectations.”
Coach Julien attributed Bergy’s commitment to the team and self-sacrificing attitude to his stats as being par with his character.
“It’s team first, and he’s been asked to do certain things at times, and he’s done it without hesitation," said the B's coach. "Because of that, probably his offensive stats have suffered a little bit.
“But we are hoping that we can more or less return the favor by giving him some wingers that are going to help him produce even more than ever.”