By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patrice Bergeron’s comments to the media on his record-ninth straight Selke Trophy nomination perfectly mirrored his game; well-rounded and unselfish.
“It’s always a great recognition. Obviously, you have to also realize and keep in mind that it is a team, a team sport,” Bergeron told reporters via video conference on Monday. “I wouldn’t be here without the help of all my teammates. So it’s the same thing every year. It’s one of those things where you can’t accomplish that on your own. I’ve been fortunate enough to play on great teams, great lines and being coached by great coaches.”
Long known for his two way ability, Bergeron says his defensive effort is rooted in his Juniors career with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
“I think in Juniors, that’s when my my coach that made me realize that I I couldn’t just make it to the next level with only my offense. I needed it needed to also to work on faceoffs. And he actually put me on the wing for a period during that year to learn how to play on the right wing. I have more options because he basically told me that I wasn’t going to make it if I if I didn’t explore other things on the defensive side and learn and get better. And I couldn’t just rely on one thing to make it to the next level.”
Bergeron credited his coaches in Boston as well, going back to his days as an 18-year-old rookie.
“Once I got to Boston, I think my coaches have helped me a lot. Whether it’s Mike Sullivan early on and Claude [Julien] when he came in and really worked on my defensive side of things,” Bergeron said.
Does his continued presence as one of the game’s elite two-way players inspire his teammates?
“I’ve always tried to be myself as a leader or try to lead by example and speak up when it’s time and when you feel like it’s needed,” Bergeron said when asked how his game on the ice molds his leadership style. “Hopefully that that style that I’m playing is is influencing and helping other guys to to to, I guess, follow into it to be a part of that that great team.”
Bergeron and the Bruins return to action August 2, when they face the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL’s Eastern Conference bubble in Toronto.