Patrice Bergeron - C
Aggregate Grade: A+
Patrice Bergeron is an NHL cheat code.
He’s so good at what he does and what he brings to the Boston Bruins in terms of skill, shooting power and accuracy, defensive prowess, defensive awareness and in general ability to be a quality hockey player is nothing short of an absolute miracle.
Especially considering that Patrice Bergeron’s season didn’t go as long as anyone wanted, starting the year hurt, and shaving 18 games off of his schedule. And while the Bruins dealt with the ramifications of this, it made his value to the team and to the success of said team all the more apparent as players tried their best to live up to the monumental two-way strength that Bergy brought to nearly every shift and even at their best...could barely live up to it. In fairness, who could? Bergeron has had years to hone his craft as a two-way center, and has been leading the charge in being the best at pretty much everything on his team so long that it all just seems...casual.
And when he returned and the team shifted Pastrnak to his right wing, they tore the NHL several new ones. Then they made new ones inside those new ones. They became one of the most dominant and successful lines the league had. They simply kicked ass.
And they had Bergeron’s steady hand to guide his longtime winger and newcomer phenom to thank for a lot of it.
Unsurprisingly, among players who played at least 300 minutes of 5v5 ice-time, Bergeron led the charge in CF%, was 3rd in FF%, and was often a difference maker in penalty killing situations, where he and Marchand would become the single most dangerous pair of players on the ice in many a 2 minute man-disadvantage. But! Not to be outdone by...himself, he turned it all the way up in the playoffs, being one of the best players in the playoffs at 5-on-5, having 16 points in 12 games, and leading the team in the fancy numbers by an absolutely absurd margin.
Putting it poetically, because objectivity went out the door when he missed almost 20 games and still got 30 goals, to watch Patrice Bergeron is simply to see what a Selke finalist and possible 5-time winner in our lifetime looks like. To watch Patrice Bergeron do what he does with such poise and confidence that it almost looks second nature to him is a treat.
To give him anything other than an A+, especially considering how the team did in the playoffs and where his line kept the dream alive almost on their own for stretches, would be idiocy.
To see Patrice Bergeron play hockey, is to get a vague, but pretty solid glimpse of what the word “Perfection” really means.
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More Perfect than Perfect