(Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)
By Court Lalonde (follow @courtlalonde)
The 2016-17 season for the Boston Bruins has been an interesting one so far, to say the least. They currently sit 3rd in the Atlantic with 52 points but have played five more games than both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. Toronto has 50 points, and Ottawa is even with Boston in the standings; both those teams are playing better hockey currently then the Bruins. I believe there is some hope around the corner because of the recent output of one Patrice Bergeron. Patrice is a leader in the Bruins dressing room and usually when he plays well, his team notices and steps up their game.
At the 2003 entry draft, the Boston Bruins used their 45th overall pick to select Patrice Bergeron. He would make the big club in his first year and would record 39 points in 71 games. In 2005, the Boston Bruins traded budding superstar Joe Thornton and decided that early in Patrice Bergeron’s career that he would be the new face of the franchise. That year Patrice Bergeron lead the Bruins with 73 points and put away any doubt that anyone had of his abilities.
The Bruins and Patrice Bergeron had their ups and downs from then on, but it wasn’t until the 2011 playoffs where he cemented himself in Bruins history forever. The Boston Bruins made it to the Stanley Cup finals on the back of Tim Thomas, but on June 15th, 2011 it was Bergeron who scored the winning goal to win the Stanley Cup. Getting big goals became the norm for Patrice Bergeron because in game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he scored the game-tying goal after being down 4-1, and then scored the winning goal in overtime to knock off the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins would make it to the Stanley Cup final that year, only to lose in 6 games to the Chicago Blackhawks. Once the finals were over, we learned that Patrice Bergeron had played with a punctured lung, separated shoulder, broken ribs, and a broken nose.
It must have been hard for him this year when Patrice Bergeron got off to such a slow and unlike him start. There are rumors that he was and might still be playing with an injury, but it’s not like he hasn’t played through one before, and there is no confirmation that he is injured. In the last ten games, he is showing his leadership on the ice by getting 10 points in his last ten games, and 4 of those points on the struggling but improving power play. In the 45 games Bergeron has played this year, he has only collected 21 points, so 10 in the last ten games is a large improvement and shows Bruins fans hope for optimism. We all know that Patrice Bergeron’s number 37 will hang from the rafters at TD Garden once he retires. It might end up that the Bruins don’t make the playoffs again this year, but we know that he will never give up and play hard until that last buzzer sounds.