In his first interview since the NHL paused its season March 12 due to the Coronavirus, Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron admitted that while he and his teammates are first and foremost worried about the health and safety of everyone, it has been difficult to not already be thinking of what could’ve been. The Bruins (44-14-12, 100 points), led the league in points at the pause and seemed destined for the President’s Trophy, given to the best regular season team, and another long run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“I think as you get older you realize that you need to make the most of every opportunity since they might not come by often,” Bergeron told Sportsnet NHL Analyst Elliotte Friedman in Friedman’s latest 31 thoughts. “That being said, this is out of our control. What should be on our minds right now is everyone’s safety. Still, it is hard knowing that we have a great team, not certain if there will be a playoff and a Stanley Cup to compete for.”
With a couple of bumps in the road during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 season, the Bruins have been one of the winningest teams in the NHL since 2008-09. With a core of him, captain Zdeno Chara, goalie Tuukka Rask, and forwards Brad Marchand and David Krejci, Bruins teams with changing lineups have fed off the constant that is this core that all hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2011. Bergeron believes that’s why the Bruins have played as if they’re on a mission for redemption for last season when they fell to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 on home ice in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
“For me, the best thing about being a Bruin is the friendship that we’ve been able to establish,” he wrote in an email. “In a cap world, rarely do you see teams keeping lots of guys long term. We have been so lucky in Boston. Growing up together (almost), it’s a special bond. I think it helps with our culture — keeping guys accountable, understanding how we do things. We know what is expected of each other. Everybody is included and has a voice. We are all only a small piece to the puzzle.”
Bergeron has had another stellar season with 31 goals and 25 assists. This is his third-straight 30-goal season and the sixth of his career.
There has been no definitive timetable for the NHL to return to action and on Wednesday, the league postponed the NHL Draft Combine, Awards Show and the NHL Entry Draft.