Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron continues to come as advertised and more for head coach Jim Montgomery.
Early in the third period of a 4-1 Boston Bruins win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, Bergeron took a puck, which deflected off a shot from David Pastrnak, that thankfully missed his visor and hit him directly in the face. The Bruins center immediately went down in pain to the ice, holding his face. He then skated immediately to the Bruins’ bench and down the tunnel to their dressing room.
Patrice Bergeron just took a puck to the face. Hard. pic.twitter.com/pvQMGO22tx
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) January 19, 2023
Not that it should surprise anyone, Patrice Bergeron missed just a few shifts and was back on the bench with his nose stuffed and swollen.
Patrice Bergeron’s nose looks banged up after the puck to the face. Dude is a warrior to be back on the bench and the ice following the injury. pic.twitter.com/glvrwWvkyu
— Short Handed Takes: Bruins 🅿️odcast 🎙 (@ShortHandedTks) January 19, 2023
“I mean really, we’re up in the game, 3-1, he knows that and he’s back in the locker room, and still, he comes out right away,” Montgomery recounted to the media after the game. “Just a tremendous amount of respect for his toughness, his pride in wearing the ‘Spoked B’ and hopefully all the x-rays will come back positive for us.”
Where does he rank on toughness meter in terms of players Montgomery has played with or coached?
“He’s one of the toughest,” Montgomery replied. “There’s toughness in what you’re willing to do, how much pain you’re willing to play with. The trainers told me right away, ‘He’ll be back’ because I’ve never seen anyone play with more pain.”
Ullmark has also grown to know how tough Bergeron is.
“I was so. …well, not surprised,” Ullmark said. “I wasn’t surprised that he came back this game because I’ve seen him do it before, but every time you see someone get hit in the face, you don’t want to see that. So, I was happy that he came back and sat on the bench in the end.”
As Bergeron’s longtime teammate and linemate Brad Marchand pointed out after the game,Bergeron’s toughness and heart inspires his teammates.
“It was definitely a relief when he stepped back on the ice again. We were all nervous when he left,” Marchand said of Bergeron who played Games 5 and 6 of the 2013 Stanley cup Final with broken ribs, a punctured lung and a dislocated shoulder. “He’s gonna play through anything. It makes you want to go through a wall when you see a guy like that come back, who literally will play through anything and sacrifice any part of his body to win a game. He could easily walk away from that and rest up for the next one, but it says a lot about his character and who he is as a player and a captain and that’s why he is who he is.”