Player of the Game: Bruins-Blackhawks Game 3
It is awfully tough not to award Tuukka Rask as my Player of the Game, but I dug a little deeper and looked at the overall game of Patrice Bergeron.
What else can you say about this man? He is as consistent of a player as there is in the National Hockey League today. His knowledge, his poise, his play in all three zones never goes unnoticed. He gets leverage on almost any player he faces and never gets knocked down because of his great balance while on the ice.
All he did tonight was score a power-play goal, rattle off seven shots, win 85% of his face-offs and totaled 19:49 minutes of ice time.
Bergeron was very involved in the Black and Gold’s defensive end tonight as he always is and he talked about it after the B’s 2-0 victory.
“I take pride in it,” Bergeron said. “I take pride in both sides. Don’t get me wrong. I like being in the offensive zone.”
Even Bergeron’s elder Jaromir Jagr spoke highly of Bergeron’s effort tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I’ve never seen a guy that hungry in the defensive zone,” Jagr said.
On this night Bergeron’s efforts were praised by his teammates. He had the jump in his step right from the opening face-off and Tyler Seguin spoke about Bergeron’s game.
“Nothing surprises me with him,” Seguin said. “Obviously, he’s one of our biggest leaders. Sometimes it’s not so much words with him, but his actions. You can definitely follow behind him.”
Bergeron’s power-play goal gave the B’s a little bit of breathing room in the second period and his performance tonight was one his teammate will remember heading into Game 4 Wednesday night at TD Garden.
“There’s only so much you say about him,” Seguin said. “The same thing with Tuukka. I think he’s definitely one of the most consistent players I’ve ever seen or played with. He’s definitely my Selke (Trophy) vote and I thought that was again he stepped his game up a whole level. Obviously getting that huge goal, but all the things away from that you know he’s competing. His draws tonight were huge for us.”
Bergeron now has seven goals and six assists during the B’s Stanley Cup run. His play on the power-play and penalty-kill has been phenomenal.
Bergeron has been doing this for years for the Black and Gold and he is only two wins away from his second Stanley Cup Championship with the team that brought him in as a young man as the 45th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
It is a saying B’s fans have been saying for years, “The Bruins go as Chara goes”, but I am starting to think that Patrice Bergeron may be the heartbeat of the Boston Bruins and has been for quite some time.