BOSTON – Patrice Bergeron just keeps on scoring, and keeps on pushing his way into the Hart Trophy conversation.
The Bruins No. 1 center scored two more goals, including the third period game-winner, in Boston’s 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday night, and has entered into the NHL’s top-10 in scoring with his 27 goals this season. Bergeron is currently tied with Calgary’s Sean Monahan for ninth with his team-leading 27 goals, and now has 17 goals in his last 19 games in a hot streak.
Sure, Bergeron’s 51 points have him tied for 30th in the NHL with just a couple of months left in the regular season, but we’re also talking about the league’s best defensive forward, and the center on the NHL’s best forward line that’s also on pace for a career-high 41 goals and 78 points this season. He may not win the top spot in points around the NHL, but the Hart Trophy is given out to the league’s most valuable player, not the guy with the most points.
“I don’t know, yeah I’m trying to shoot more. I’m trying to put the puck on net. Obviously when you’re in a tight game you’re trying to make a difference and trying to find a way. Our line tried to make something happen,” said Bergeron. “That’s what we’re on the ice for and we were fortunate enough to get the fourth one and the power play we always talk about doing the job – that was a great pass from Torey.
“It’s hard to really compare from one year to another, I think. I’m going out there and I’m trying to help my team every night and trying to push myself like I mentioned, and be better. I think my line mates and my teammates are pushing me to do that. I need to carry that on, I guess.”
Bergeron also leads the Bruins with five game-winning goals on the season after his clutch work in the final 20 minutes of Tuesday night’s win: He sniped home a beautiful shot off the rush on the power play for the game-winner, and then iced the game with a beautiful tip of a Brad Marchand point shot that tucked right under the crossbar.
Put it all together and it’s another highlight-filled game in a season that’s shaping up to be Bergeron’s best ever at 32-year-old.
“He’s been doing it for years, so there’s no surprise there,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Good timing this year. Bergy is hot. He’s a shooter this year, and it’s finding the back of the net, so good for him. The power-play goal is something we saw in the first period on the entries; they were jamming us at the blue line, so we made a little adjustment, thought we could sneak behind them, and [Torey] Krug executed a great pass and perfect timing.
“So, we got in behind them and, we were able to capitalize. Like I said, Bergy, from that area of the ice, he’s lights out this year and getting rewarded for hitting the net, first of all, and putting it in a tough spot for the goalie to handle.”
The Bruins have to hope that Bergeron continuing to push himself keeps leading to the increased production, and keeps No. 37 in the conversation for all the heavy hardware handed out to the league’s best players at the end of the year.