Patrice Bergeron

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara lead NHL in plus-minus this decade

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara lead NHL in plus-minus this decade

The Boston Bruins were the NHL's best team before the league hit pause on the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus, and it's not hard to see why. 

The B's are one of the best defensive teams in the entire NHL. They have allowed the least goals with 167 and rank eighth in shots against per games played with 30.  

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Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara are a big reason why Boston has found plenty of defensive success over the last decade. The trio ranks one, two and three in plus-minus from the 2010-11 season to the 2019-20 campaign. 

Although those three have the best plus-minus in the league, a majority of the B's 2019-20 roster is solid defensively. 

If the NHL season does resume at some point, you can bet on the Bruins being just as good as they were before the league hit pause. 

 

NHLPA's new player poll results give Bruins' Patrice Bergeron plenty of respect

NHLPA's new player poll results give Bruins' Patrice Bergeron plenty of respect

The NHL Players' Association has released the results of its 2019-20 player poll, and it's clear Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is still viewed as a top player by his peers.

Almost 600 players participated in the poll, and the voting took place before the league suspended the season earlier this month due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

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Bergeron finished in the top five of the results for two on-ice player categories. One of them was: "If you need to win one game, who is the one player (any position) you would want on your team?"

Here are the results:

1. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins (44.04 percent of the vote)
2. Connor McDavid, C, Oilers (35.53 percent)
3. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Avalanche (4.11 percent)
4. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins (3.33 percent)

These results are hardly a surprise. Bergeron is one of the most clutch players of his era. He's one of two active players who've scored multiple goals in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and his heroics in Game 7 of Boston's first-round playoff series versus the Toronto Maple Leafs were incredible as well. Bergeron's trophy case is pretty impressive, and it includes a Stanley Cup ring, four Frank J. Selke trophies, two Olympic gold medals, a World Championship gold medal and a World Junior Championships gold medal, among other team and individual honors.

Whether you need a goal, a defensive shift or a faceoff win, Bergeron arguably is the most reliable player in the world.

The other category in which Bergeron appeared in the top results was, "Who is the most complete player?"

Here are the results:

1. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins (45.56 percent)
2. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins (25.44 percent)
3. Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers (7.50 percent)
4. Ryan O'Reilly, C, Blues (5.33 percent)

Bergeron's inclusion in this category was fully expected. He's the best two-way player in the league and likely will be among the finalists for the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward), an award he's won four times. The Bruins center is best known for his excellent defensive play, but he's also an elite special teams player (both on the power play and penalty kill) and an underrated scorer. Bergeron has scored 31 goals this season, giving him three consecutive years of 30-plus goals and nine consecutive non-lockout seasons of 20-plus goals. 

It's uncertain when/if the 2019-20 season will resume. If it does, the Bruins will be among the top contenders for the Stanley Cup. If they make another deep playoff run, Bergeron, 34, likely will be one of the driving forces behind that success.

Patrice Bergeron admits 'it's hard' not knowing if Stanley Cup playoffs will happen

Patrice Bergeron admits 'it's hard' not knowing if Stanley Cup playoffs will happen

The Boston Bruins' window to win a Stanley Cup is the near future.

Many of the team's best players are approaching the end of their primes, including Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and others. Brad Marchand also is 31 years old. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (33) and Jaroslav Halak (34) have played a ton of games in their careers. B's captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara remains a very effective player, but he's 43 years old.

The Bruins aren't likely to have a ton more opportunities to win a championship with their veteran core.

Boston currently sits atop the NHL standings and ranks among the top contenders for the Stanley Cup. However, it's uncertain if the Bruins will get a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup in 2020. The NHL a few weeks ago made the smart decision to pause the season amid the outbreak of the coronavirus. It was a necessary move to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. The league on Wednesday announced the postponement of the 2020 NHL Draft, 2020 NHL Scouting Combine and 2020 NHL Awards.

The whole situation is further proof that there are more important things in life than playing sports. Still, it's tough for players in Bergeron's position who might not get too many more cracks at playoff glory. He addressed the scenario in a recent conversation with Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

“I think as you get older you realize that you need to make the most of every opportunity since they might not come by often," Bergeron said. "That being said, this is out of our control. What should be on our minds right now is everyone’s safety. Still, it is hard knowing that we have a great team, not certain if there will be a playoff and a Stanley Cup to compete for.”

The league seems determined to finish the season when/if appropriate. Here's what commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this month:

If the 2019-20 season does resume, it's unclear what format will be used. It's possible a few regular season games could be played to finish out the playoff race. Maybe the league would go straight to the playoffs and perhaps expand the tournament to allow teams close to a playoff spot to participate. It's hard to predict what will happen because there's no precedent for this scenario.

What we do know is that if the season returns, the Bruins will be well-rested and highly motivated to give another strong push for the Stanley Cup, and Bergeron will be among the players leading that charge.

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