This past week was a very up-and-down affair for the Boston Bruins, but even in the darkest of times, one man in black and gold was always working hard, trying, earning praise from commentators on the local and national levels, usefully defending his Selke Trophy win. I speak, of course, of Patrice Bergeron, my choice for player of the week ending April 1. Yes, he’s been my player of the week choice before, but there can definitely be repeats.
Bergeron’s big week began when the Toronto Maple Leafs came to town for the second half of a home-and-home series. He provided the game-tying goal midway through the third period that brought the home team back from being down two goals–again–and then in the shootout, his goal stood as the winner. He also led all forwards in time on ice.
Against the Montreal Canadiens, he had quite the productive evening, putting up his 19th, 20th and 21st assists of the season. He also contributed a power play goal for his 10th of the year and got physical, too, putting a big hit on Josh Gorges at one point. You know, that guy he fought a few years ago.
Though he wasn’t able to help the Bruins to a win in the shootout this time, that was still a four-point night for him–and yep, once again, he led all forwards in time on ice. He was out there for nearly 25 minutes, which is longer than either Andrew Ference or Dougie Hamilton, both of whom are blueliners.
Though he emerged from the loss to the Philadelphia Flyers with an unfortunate -2 rating, no points and was eclipsed in time on ice for forwards just slightly by Milan Lucic (who had about 21 minutes of time while Bergeron clocked 19:44), he came back to lead forwards in TOI yet again when the Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres. Even in that Flyers game, when so many of his fellow forwards seemed like soft shadows of themselves, he was the one exception to the rule:
It seems that way every time the Bruins lapse and play below the big bad Bruins hockey they’re famous for playing. When the whole team is being called out in a blanket of calling-out, there seems to always be an exception for number 37. That’s not without merit, either. Bergeron is just consistently good, always working hard, always trying, working both ends of the ice and doing what he can.
I even heard NBC commentators suggesting his name for a trophy this year–not the Selke as a two-time winner (which would be the first repeat since Pavel Datsyuk won it three times in a row), but the Hart. When so many people have already gone ahead and just awarded the Hart to Sidney Crosby (again not without merit, although there are a few other names that could be rightfully considered), it’s admittedly pretty nice to hear national talking heads praise someone else.