It’s not often that one hears Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron talk about pride in his own individual accomplishments.
But 36-year-old Patrice Bergeron used that word after Thursday night’s 5-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden after capping off this season’s TD Garden regular season schedule with a hat trick that gives him 400 career goals as a member of the Boston Bruins. The late season flourish got him to 25 goals on the season and leaves him just two goals behind Rick Middleton for third place all-time on the Boston Bruins scoring list.
Bergeron and Mark Messier are the only players to complete a hat trick with their 400th goal, according to STATS.
“It was in Montreal that people told me I was three goals away from 400 [career goals], and it is special,” said Bergeron, who is in the final year of his contract with the Boston Bruins and said he won’t make any decisions about next season and beyond until this one is over. “But I think what’s special is that I’ve scored all those goals with the Boston Bruins. I think that’s the biggest thing for me that I take out of it is that it’s been a great ride with one organization and that doesn’t happen often,” said Bergeron, who finished with 25 goals and 65 points for the season if he does indeed sit things out against the Maple Leafs. “You know, I’m proud of that.”
Oh by the way, Bergeron also scored his 86th game-opening goal for the Boston Bruins that passed Johnny Bucyk to be the all-time leader on Boston’s franchise leaderboard list.
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Needless to say, his teammates and coaches were pumped for him after the game, and the Boston Bruins dressing room was pumping out the Sinatra classics in the victorious postgame.
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“Some of these things that happen now, you always look back later, but there were a lot of positives tonight” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Right before the rush before that it looked like March found Bergeron in the slot as well. Not sure what happened, but the guys are ecstatic for Bergeron. Donny DelNegro a great Bruins for 29 years. It’s a pretty happy room. There’s some Frank Sinatra playing in there right now if you can believe it.”
It’s expected that Bergeron is going to sit out Friday night’s regular season road finale in Toronto, so it was exactly the kind of season-ending performance people have come to expect in a player like Bergeron that always rises to the occasion. No matter what happens in the playoffs, people are going to remember this game for Bergeron’s fireworks, for the tributes to retiring head athletic trainer Donnie DelNegro and for goaltender Linus Ullmark recording his first shutout in a Boston Bruins uniform against his old Sabres team.
All the goals were hard-working and from the net-front/slot areas of the ice where Bergeron typically scores all his goals these days, but the last one was vintage Bergeron putting in max effort winning the offensive zone draw, falling down from the battle and then heading to the front of the net where he got a pass from Charlie McAvoy.
“Charlie made an amazing pass and a great read, and when I got the puck, I knew I had a little time to get the shot off. It was a great screen with bodies in front and the puck trickled in,” said Bergeron. “For me, these milestones are always based on the help of your teammates, and what they do to help you to accomplish things. For me, the biggest thing is the wins and losses and the details that can help your team the most.”
In a brilliant NHL career that’s been filled with taking care of the little details and doing things that help teams win, and win a lot, Bergeron continues to enter territory where he’s hitting some big career numbers and doing it in the clutch style that’s always been a part of his overall game.