Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In this installment he talks about what his line needs to do to get better and reveals some of his off-ice personality, including who his first celebrity crush was. --As told to Louise K. Cornetta
It's been crazy with how I can't seem to stay away from hurting myself. On Thursday someone shot the puck and it got deflected off my stick and hit my right eye. Everything is good now but at first it was a little scary because it got blurry for a few minutes. Luckily as time went on, I started feeling better. The vision was back to normal and I was able to get back on the ice. This one was basically nothing but a freak accident. I was fine. So it was good news this time.
Before I get too much into how we've been doing, I wanted to congratulate the Red Sox on winning the World Series. The parade looked amazing and was great for the city and people of Boston. They deserved a championship and something to cheer for. Unfortunately, while we tried hard, we couldn't do that last year. It was great to see the Red Sox accomplishing that. All the guys were really happy for them. It's something we've talked about in the last diary how we support the other Boston teams as they do us.
For those of you that were wrapped up in watching baseball for the past few weeks, I'll try to fill you in on what you've missed over here. We've been a little up and down the last few games. We're trying to right the ship right now. The Florida game Thursday was a good step forward for us. We had gotten away from playing our system and playing the way that gets us the success we've had in the past. We have enough experience to realize that we just need to go back to basics and play the right way.
If I had to describe the identity of this team I'd say we're hard to play against. We work hard and make it hard on the opponents by forechecking and playing together as a team. Our team defense as a whole has been successful for us. If we stick to the system, we'll do the job right.
My line is still trying to click. We've had some good games but we've had games we can be better. We obviously have some great players on the line. All of us can bring some good things to the club but also to our line. We just need to get a feel for one another. The chemistry is still not completely there because of the fact the line has changed so many times with Loui [Ericksson] missing time with a concussion and Reilly [Smith] was on the line for a little bit and Marchy [Brad Marchand] is back on the line again. Really we just need to play our game, play together, have fun with it and bring some help to our teammates.
I've played with Marchy for a few years now. I think he's playing with some more confidence lately. He's more assertive with the plays that he makes, which is great to see. He's such a great player when he's playing with confidence and makes the plays that makes him successful and doesn't hesitate. It helps the line a lot. Seeing him score that goal on Thursday against the Panthers was great and it was a pretty funny celebration when he mimed taking the monkey off his back. It definitely goes along with his personality.
This past week I've seen a lot of familiar faces on the opposing teams with Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Tim Thomas coming to town. When the game is being played you don't think about it. But after, it gives you time to say hi and wish them all the best. I didn't have a chance to actually meet them in person but I sent some text messages and wished them all the best in their future. Obviously it's a new lifestyle for all of them and hopefully they enjoy it, but we have to keep pushing forward and playing well.
I thought for both occasions with Dallas and Florida in town it was a class act by the Bruins to play video montages of these players who helped us win a Stanley Cup. It was a great way to show that we respect what they've done for us and wish them all the best.
Since I'm doing this diary, I thought maybe people would like to get to know a little bit of what I'm like off the ice. Here are some questions you might be interested in:
• How did I learn English? Just by talking to guys. Back home it's all French but at school I had some basic English classes and started learning there. My first year here in Boston, when I was 18, was the first year I was really put to the test and I had to learn it quickly. In the past 10 years, I learned English just by talking with people. I'm always trying to get better at it.
• Do I think in French? Not when I am talking in English. It depends though. If I'm just by myself and thinking on my own like things to do that day, I think in French.
• Do I dream in French? I dream in both. Some are in French and some are in English.
• Which goal meant the most to me? The Stanley Cup goal in Game 7 in 2011. I do have the puck from that one. It's somewhere safe. I still haven't done anything with it but I'll try to put it in a nice frame since it has so much meaning to it. I'm still thinking about what to do with it.
• Best advice for being successful with face--offs? I think just taking a lot of pride in it. Obviously repetition and working on it as much as possible is something very important. It's not going to happen overnight. It's about working on it and getting better at it. There isn't just one key piece of advice that's really going to change everything. It's about practicing it and making sure you take a lot of pride in it.
• What's the No. 1 thing fans say to me? "Nice to meet you," is usually what they say. People are pretty nice to me and say they don't want to bother me. Sometimes they say, "Thank you," after the playoffs last year or after any playoffs and that's something I thought was really nice of them to say.
• If I could be on any game show, which one would I pick? "The Price is Right." I want to be in the showcase showdown, but just being there would be pretty cool.
• Movie I can watch over and over? I love "The Hangover." I'll watch that over and over and it never gets old for me. Any kind of funny movie for me hits the spot. I can watch "Dodgeball" over and over too. I think I watched it 20 times and I still laugh. "Billy Madison" is the same thing.
• First celebrity crush? The Olsen twins ... I mean when they were older, not the "Full House" years of course!
• Most embarrassing song on my playlist? I probably have a Celine Dion song on there.
When I check back in next month, I hope the story of this team is that we've righted the ship. I hope we've taken advantage of this stretch of home games. This is a huge month because we have 10 home games this month. One of the things we've talked about is improving our home record. We want to capitalize on this stretch and keep climbing in the standings. We have to do the job at home because it will go a long way.