The Boston Bruins stared death in the face entering Game 6 in St. Louis Sunday night. Trailing three games to two in the series after a frustrating and controversial Game 5 loss, they needed their best players to show up on and off the ice in order to keep the dream of hoisting Lord Stanley alive.
Enter Patrice Bergeron.
A handful of teammates revealed Bergeron’s pregame speech shortly after Bruce Cassidy’s squad left the ice following their 5-1 victory. A handful of Bergeron’s teammates admitted that they were for battle after hearing their alternate captain speak.
Charlie McAvoy described it as “exactly what they needed” and was blown away by the leadership displayed by Boston’s assistant captain. Jake DeBrusk added that it made them “want to run through a wall.”
“He was everything that you want in a leader tonight. He is every night, but especially tonight. He rallied us in a way that was needed. He has a knack for saying the right thing at exactly the right time, and that’s a leadership ability,” McAvoy added about Bergeron’s speech. “It’s something that you grow over time and he obviously has it.”
There’s a laundry list of reasons why Bergeron’s number will one day hang in the rafter. His pregame speech in Game 6 — with their backs against the wall — only adds another moment to his illustrious tenure. One can only assume that Bergeron channeled his inner Herb Brooks prior to Team USA taking the ice against the Soviet Union during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Everyone around the league has a tremendous amount of respect for Bergeron and this is exactly why. In the face of the storm, he didn’t panic. Instead, he used his experience and leadership to rally the troops and give everything they had.
“It’s insane what [Bergeron] brings to the team every single day, sharing moments like he did,” David Pastrnak, Bergeron’s fellow linemate said. “It touched every single one of us and got us going.”
Behind Bergeron, the Bruins took care of business and forced a Game 7 back in Boston on Wednesday night. The entire NHL season comes down to one final game for hockey’s ultimate prize. I can only imagine what Bergeron will have to say beforehand.
Matt is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in sports journalism and a minor in business. He currently reports on the Boston Bruins and writes featured stories and game recaps for both Bruins Daily and Boston.com
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