Boston, MA --
Coming into last season, Patrice Bergeron
was primed and ready to have a standout year and to assert himself as one of the best young players in the NHL.
And...Well. We all know what happened.
It’s been a long road back to the ice for Patrice Bergeron
, but the Bruins young center is glad to be able to turn the page on last season and look forward to the promising new campaign.
“While the last year’s injuries were tough, the recovery period gave me some time to adjust back to full speed and find my timing again,” Bergeron said. “(The time off) last year gave me some time to get my strength back as well.
“I was fifteen pounds too light (after the injury recovery period), so with the time off, I worked hard to get stronger.
"Now I’m ready to take some hits and get back to my physical game.”
Coming into 2008-09, the team is full of confidence and youthful enthusiasm due to the playing time many young Bruins received last year and is looking to continue last year’s upward trend in the standings.
“Although we didn’t finish up where we wanted to be (last year), the majority of the team is back, so we’re going to pick it right up again,” Bergeron said. “The younger guys have also matured a bit, so it’ll be exciting to see how they’ll (contribute).”
Bergeron insists the team has moved on from last year’s Game 7 loss to Montreal and only retained the good aspects of the playoff run.
“I think the confidence on the team is better than it was at this point last year,” he explained. “Obviously we know what are capable of doing as a team after last year’s results.
“We’re at the point now where we’re focused on trying to accomplish our goals...and we’re going to go from there.”
Most of all, the young center is simply ready to get back out on the TD Banknorth Garden ice and play hockey. And with 69 goals and 113 assists through his first three full seasons in the NHL, Bruins fans should be teeming with excitement in anticipation of seeing Bergy back at it again.
“I’ve been waiting for this chance a long time,” he said, “so I’m really looking forward to getting back into camp and being here with the guys again.
“I just can’t wait to get back out there.”