BOSTON -- Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was having a little trouble on Wednesday afternoon concentrating on the game later that night with Atlanta at TD Garden, but Friday's Winter Classic at Fenway Park wasn't causing the distraction.
While Bergeron was on the ice, he received a voicemail from Kevin Lowe, associate director for Team Canada. The news was music to Bergeron's ears, as he found out he had made his homeland's roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics » to be held in Vancouver in February.
"It's a game day, so I had to go through my regular routine and do everything right to make sure I'm ready for tonight. But obviously, as soon as I got the call I was very excited and it was hard to contain that joy," said Bergeron, the Bruins' leading scorer with 29 points. "But at the same time, it's probably going to settle in tonight and I'll probably enjoy it more after the game."
Bergeron was the only member of the Canadian team that didn't attend last summer's orientation camp. In recent weeks, Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman explained that Bergeron's recent injury-marred seasons were the main reasons the 24-year-old wasn't invited to camp. Bergeron had previously represented Canada at the World Championship and World Junior Championship.
In recent weeks, Yzerman attended a handful of Bruins games and with Bergeron playing his best hockey since his major concussion in 2007 it became difficult to leave Bergeron off the roster.
"I didn't get selected for summer camp, but at the same time I was worrying about the Bruins and playing my game and making sure I was giving the Bruins a chance to win every game," said Bergeron. "And that's what it's all about for me, it's about the team. And after that, well, I guess they liked what they've seen. And they said it too, after the summer camp, that it didn't mean that if you weren't on that roster that you weren't going to get the call.
"I worked hard. It wasn't only for the Olympics, but also for the Bruins and I'm very happy to get rewarded like that today."
Team Canada watched Bergeron from afar and didn't keep in touch with him, so he never knew when or if he was being watched. He said he let the chance of making the team enter his mind only when members of the media brought it up. That actually might have helped Bergeron stay focused on the task at hand rather than try to do too much to impress.
"You never know what's going to happen. There's so many great players that live in Canada, that were born there, that it's kind of hard to know what the team is going to be," he said. "I was just trying to play hard and bring it every night and see what happens.
"I don't think there was ever a point where I was kind of shooting for that goal. It was more letting things be, letting things go and it was out of my control. All I could control was my play out on the ice and I feel like that's what I was doing."