Gritty Bergeron keeps on delivering
March, 17, 2012
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- When things go amiss, teams rely on their best players to shoulder the load.
AP Photo/Michael DwyerPatrice Bergeron sneaks the shootout winner past Ilya Bryzgalov.
“I like those situations,” Boston Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said after a 3-2 shootout victory Saturday over the Philadelphia Flyers.
With both teams going 2-for-2 through two rounds of the shootout, Bergeron circled center ice and broke in on Flyers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. He saw an opening to the goaltender’s stick side.
“I felt like it was open,” Bergeron said of his approach on the cage. “Again, I faked going on his glove side and then came back against the grain. I felt like the hole was there coming in. I saw it and I just tried to put it there.”
With his steely focus, Bergeron ripped the game-winner, before Tim Thomas, who played lights out in the third period and overtime, made the game-clinching stop.
Aside from netting another in a long list of shootout winners, Saturday’s was another strong performance from the pivot. Despite the Bruins’ four-game losing streak, which came to an end with a flick of his wrist, Bergeron has been on a rather short list of Bruins who have maintained a high level of play even through the skid.
“I’ve said it numerous times, you can never say enough about the player and you can’t say enough about the person, because he’s great at both,” coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron postgame. “He’s a real good team player and he’s a great person. You never see a bad thing come out of his mouth. If he gets mad, he’s mad at himself.”
Steve Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesThe Bruins congratulate Tim Thomas, who improves to 6-0 in shootouts this season.
Bergeron also set up the Bruins’ second goal, with a tape-to-tape connection from behind the net onto Tyler Seguin’s stick. In addition to some strong work on the penalty kill, it was another quintessential Bergy performance.
In his typical, even-keeled manner, Bergeron deflected praise and stayed on point, citing how the team was able to get back on track while spouting what might be a personal credo.
“We didn’t think too much out there. We worried about doing our own job and nothing else.”