Patrice Bergeron showed up a lot on tonight's scoresheet. 2 goals, a rare fight, his winning smile...sometimes you just get lost in it. But, looking at the scoresheet, there's something off - Patrice Bergeron played only 14:25 tonight, less than any other game this season. Some of that is due to the fight, which should be good for him missing a shift or two - up to 1:30 or so. Even with that, he'd be at 16:00 or so, which would still be his second-least of the season. (His previous low was the season opener against Winnipeg, with 15:47.)
This could be cause for concern, but I'm not so sure. After using the fine tools on war-on-ice.com, I've noticed that Patrice Bergeron's rolling 5-game average 5on5 time on ice peaked in November and has been steadily dropping since the start of the new year:
However, the same time period with all ice time, same 5-game rolling average looks like this:
If Patrice Bergeron was spending an inordinate amount of time on the bench due to injury tonight, it's likely one that's been dropping his playing time for the last few weeks. Not that he's not using this playing time extremely well, mind - he's just not getting very much of it.
His playing time tonight was spaced out over most of the game. He played as late as the 55th minute, but not after that. But he also fought and lost pretty bad. Fighting certainly does take a toll, so perhaps that's part of why he played less. Or maybe it's just that the Bruins were up by so much for so much of the game.
Interesting side note: The last time Patrice Bergeron played this little in a game, it was the last game where Brett Connolly scored multiple points. Maybe Brett Connolly is a vampire.