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Boston Bruins Bergeron Knows It’s An ‘Adjustment’ Without Marchand

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BRIGHTON, MA – In what will undoubtedly be one of the storylines of Boston Bruins training camp, a lot of eyes will be watching B’s captain Patrice Bergeron welcoming a new left wing for the season’s first few weeks while Brad Marchand recovers from double hip surgery.

The timetable has Marchand back around the Thanksgiving holiday, but that means 37-year-old Bergeron is going to have to get used to somebody new on his left side for the first time in over a decade. New Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery indicated that Pavel Zacha will get a look there to start the season as he gets indoctrinated into the B’s way of doing things, but there’s no telling if Taylor Hall or others may get a few twirls with No. 37 as well.

“He’s a great player. He’s a very smart player. That’s something I knew even before he came in [with a trade from New Jersey],” said Bergeron, who finished with 25 goals and 65 points in 73 games for the Bruins last season. “He plays the right way, he’s always well-positioned and he’s got a great shot. From talking to him, he wants to become more of a shoot-first mentality than what he’s been in the past. I’m exciting to get to know him on and off the ice.”

Clearly there is talk about “opportunities” for other players and “chances to step up” when a key player is missing due to injury, but Marchand is arguably the team’s best player coming off 32 goals and 80 points in 70 games last season while dealing with a pair of wonky hips.

As Bergeron himself said, “he’s one of the best left wingers to play the game.”

Either way, it’s absolutely going to be an adjustment for Bergeron getting used to somebody new on his left side.

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“It gives other guys a chance to find that voice, to find that competitiveness and the drive to take on a bigger role, and that’s what you want for guys on this team,” said Bergeron. “It’s going to be an adjustment for me. The two of us? It’s become second nature at this point. You just read and react, and you pretty much know where the other one is going to be on the ice at all times.

“It does make things easier [when Marchand is there], but that being said you are playing with some great players and [that have] a lot of talent. It’s for me to adjust, but it’s also for whoever I’m playing with talk and communicate to make the adjustment as seamless as possible.”

As Bergeron referenced, Hall and Zacha play much different games than Marchand and there will be a need for time to chemistry to form over those opening weeks of the season when the B’s will be missing a lot of talent from the lineup. But if anybody can do it, it is most certainly Bergeron, one of the smartest and most diligent players in the NHL today, that will figure it out quickly as the Boston Bruins scratch and claw for points in the opening few months of the hockey season.

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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