Imagine my shock when Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron took to the podium wearing a ‘I absolutely hate Felger & Mazz more than words can describe’ shirt following his four-goal explosion Thursday night. Now imagine the entire room’s collective shock when we all looked my way and realized that we were wearing the same shirt. Oh, the embarrassment.
Just kidding. Bergeron probably has no idea what was said about him on the radio Thursday or probably ever. He seems like a pretty normal human being with normal hobbies, and I’m not sure rage-listening to talk of his potential demise cracks the list for him. The 36-year-old instead showed off some of other those hobbies (firing absolute missiles from the bumper) in a win, and felt the need to remind us exactly what his job duties entail after a ‘quiet’ seven games.
“My game is not just about scoring goals,” Bergeron said. “You always have to go back to what you want to do to help your team win, do those things and worry about details. And the rest falls into place.”
Bergeron felt that was the case even before he got to throw up the Four Horsemen sign.
“Maybe I wasn’t getting the goals, but we were still creating some things and getting some wins as well,” Bergeron noted. “You gotta remember, that’s why I’m playing the game, you know what I mean?”
It’s probably telling that the Bruins never really worried about Bergeron. Like, at all.
They knew the dam would eventually break. Bergeron’s underlying numbers by all means confirmed that, as Bergeron entered Thursday’s action averaging 8.84 individual scoring chances (fourth-most among all Bruins) and 7.91 shots (fifth-most among all Bruins) per 60 minutes of all-situational play through the first seven games of the season.
“He’s too good of a player to keep him down for long,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the victory. “Sometimes you get one and it snowballs a little. You knew that sooner or later that would happen.”
“It was a matter of time,” Brad Marchand said. “He’s such a dominant player in the league and he’s had a lot of good looks early on. It’s just sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. Everything he touched went in tonight.
“When he gets on a roll, he really gets on a roll.”
By Bergeron standards, it was long overdue. And in true Bergeron fashion, it wasn’t going to come at the expense of something else, not even on a four-goal night, as Bergeron also finished Thursday’s victory with wins in all but three of his 19 faceoffs (an 84 percent success rate) and a forward-high 2:40 of shorthanded time on ice, with Detroit scoring their only goal of the evening with Bergeron in the box for tripping Filip Hronek with the Wings already up a man.
“Honestly, I think it’s one of those things where I’ve been in the league long enough to know that it’s going to come back,” Bergeron said of the slow start to the year. “I think I have the experience that I can rely on, and I think it’s about making sure you don’t force plays or you don’t try to think of the end result, but really go back to the details, making sure you play the right way, put yourself in good position, and eventually it’s going to come your way. That’s how I was approaching it.
“Ultimately you want to produce, but the last thing you can do is put pressure on your shoulders. It’s going to make it worse for yourself. It’s about doing the right things and making sure you do some other things to help the team win.”
Here are some other thoughts and notes from a 5-1 final at TD Garden…
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.