Plenty of Patrice Bergeron memories will be shared and celebrated over the next week, then again as the Boston Bruins play in their centennial season and when No. 37 is raised to the TD Garden rafters.
With that in mind, this puck scribe’s countdown of the top 5 moments for the now-retired Bergeron’s sure-shot hall-of-fame and 19-season career in a Boston Bruins uniform is below.
I invite you to leave your Top 5 in the comments section below or on Twitter at @MurphysLaw74, @BostonHockeyNow, or @MurphysHLPod!
5. Patrice Bergeron’s First NHL Goal (Oct. 18, 2003)
There was just something about this French Canadian kid from L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, that arrived in Wilmington, MA, for the 2003-04 Boston Bruins training camp. The 18-year-old 2003 second-round (45th overall) pick, who spoke hardly an ounce of English, seemed to fit in like he had been in an NHL dressing room for years. Patrice Bergeron wouldn’t take long to fit in on the ice, as he recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Brian Rolston’s game-winner against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 15, 2003, in his fourth NHL game. Two nights later, Bergeron scored his first NHL goal and two more helpers in a win over the Los Angeles Kings.
4. OT Winner Vs. Montreal Canadiens Game 2 ECQF (April 9, 2004)
With 16 goals and 23 assists in his 71 NHL games, Patrice Bergeron should’ve been nominated for the 2004 Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. Instead, his teammate and former Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft finished ahead of fellow former Bruin and nominee Michael Ryder (then with the Montreal Canadiens) and then New York Islanders forward Trent Hunter. Bergeron had a goal and three assists in the seven-game Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series that the Bruins blew a 3-1 series lead and lost to the Canadiens. He scored his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Game 2 overtime winner.
3. 2010 Winter Classic (Jan. 1, 2010)
If the average NHL fans didn’t realize just how clutch Patrice Bergeron could be by the time he stepped onto the Fenway Park ice on New Year’s Day, 2010, they did after that Winter Classic thriller. After Mark Recchi tied the game on a feed from defenseman Derek Morris – who took a feed from (soon-to-be retired) David Krejci – with 2:18 left in regulation, Bergeron found Marco Sturm with the sick sauce on the doorstep for the game-winning goal just 1:57 into overtime. This would be another sign of so many clutch plays to come for Bergeron.
Note: I debated whether or not No. 3 could be when Patrice Bergeron reached his 1,000th point with an assist on Brad Marchand’s game-winning goal in a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 21, 2022.
2. Two Goals In Game 7, 2011 Stanley Cup Final
There’s a strong argument that this could be the top moment below, but I’ll explain why not there. After throttling the Vancouver Canucks for a third straight time at TD Garden, the Bruins still came into Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final as an underdog. Too bad for anyone who took the favorite because the Bruins were clearly in possession of momentum, and Patrice Bergeron made that crystal clear early on. Bergeron took a Brad Marchand feed 14:37 into the opening frame to make it 1-0 Bruins.
Bergeron then put what could be argued as the dagger goal into the Canucks and their fans at a sold-out Rogers Arena when he scored a shorthanded goal with just 2:25 left in the second period of the Bruins’ 4-0 Game 7 and Stanley Cup-clinching win.
1. ‘Bergeron! Bergeron!’
As I said above, there’s a solid case my first and second choices here could be reversed, but we’ll let former Bruins radio play-by-play man and current Vegas Golden Knights TV play-by-play man Dave Goucher validate my most memorable Patrice Bergeron moment for the Boston Bruins.