In his seven-year NHL career (all with the Bruins) Patrice Bergeron has endured the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
On October 27, 2007 Bergeron suffered a season-ending concussion after a hit-from-behind from then Flyers defensemen Randy Jones.
Bergeron returned the following season looking to continue the success he had with the Bruins. On December 20, 2008 Bergeron had an awkward collision with then Hurricanes defensemen Dennis Seidenberg. Bergeron missed a little over a month with his second concussion in a just over a year.
Bergeron’s production slipped a little after his second concussion and Bruins fans began to worry that the young Canadian who had over 100 points in his first two seasons wouldn’t be back.
Although he has not hit the 70-point-mark like he did in two of his first three seasons, Bergeron has developed into the Bruins best overall forward, and one of the best two-way-players in the game.
During the Bruins amazing run to the Stanley Cup, Bergeron suffered his third concussion when he was hit by Flyers forward Claude Giroux during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Bergeron missed Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
With just three points through the first six games of the Stanley Cup Finals, and no goals in his last nine playoff games, it should come as no surprise that Bergeron came up huge for the Bruins when they needed him the most.
Late in the first period of a scoreless Game 7, and both goalies looking on-point it was obvious the first goal was as important as ever.
Bergeron fired home a one-timer after a beautiful pass from Brad Marchand that had eyes as it traveled through some traffic.
Bergeron knew the pass may not have been attended for him, but he will certainly take it.
“I’m not sure, but I was ready for it. And Recchi tried to shoot, and obviously it was perfect because I was ready as well behind him. We sort of surprised ’em. That first goal was huge.”
With just under three minutes left in the second and the Bruins holding onto a 2-0 lead, the Bruins found themselves on the penalty kill. The B’s knew they had to kill the penalty off in order to keep momentum in their favor.
Bergeron took a pass from Seidenberg got a step on the Canucks defensemen and raced in on Roberto Luongo. Bergeron was tripped as he raced in on the breakaway, Bergeron feel to the ice, and somehow managed to still put the puck in the net
“We’ll take that bounce. It is a lucky bounce, but I worked hard to get there, to get the net. It is a team effort. This isn’t about any individual” said Bergeron.
Too often guys like Bergeron come and go in the NHL and have nothing to show for it, Bergeron who won a Gold Medal with Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics (also in Vancouver) can now add Stanley Cup Champion to his resume.
“It is an amazing feeling; I had to work so hard to get back. This is about all the medical staff that made sure I took the time to get back. It is about all the whole team. What a feeling.”
Bergeron, who registered just one point in the Olympics, was asked to compare winning the Gold, to winning the Cup.
“Sorry Canada, but I’ve got to go with the Stanley Cup. The gold medal is up high for sure, but this is a childhood dream. When you’re playing hockey, you’re thinking about hoisting the Cup. Now I’ve had that chance. I was five years old and playing outside with my brother. We were always dreaming about winning that Cup. To have a chance to get it now is amazing, but that gold medal is something special too.”
Enjoy it Bergeron, you deserve it.