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Grade the players: Another typically excellent season from Patrice Bergeron

Like a fine wine, Bergeron just keeps getting better with age

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Grade: A

Some things in life happen so regularly that it’s easy to take them for granted. Sunny days, spending time with loved ones, weekends, your morning coffee, just to name a few.

And, of course, stellar seasons from Patrice Bergeron.

If you look at offensive stats alone, Bergeron doesn’t look like he’s slowing down at all. This past shortened season, Bergeron posted his best ever G/GP at .51, tallying 31 goals in just 61 games. He also had his 3rd-best points-per-game rate, averaging almost a point per night at .92 P/GP.

But as everyone knows, Bergeron’s play doesn’t stop in the offensive zone. At the face-off dot, Bergeron was 6th best in the NHL (57.9%). His possession metrics are outstanding (CF% 56 FF% 55.5), especially since he plays regularly against the opponents’ best lines.

As Andrew Berkshire pointed out in an article for Sportsnet earlier this year, “there is no player over the last five years — and probably more — who has so regularly been able to change an opponent’s possession into an offensive possession.”

Special teams play was also a highlight for Bergeron, as he helped the Bruins post the 2nd-best power play percentage in the league, scoring 20 points on the man-advantage while only being on the ice for 9 power play goals-against the whole regular season.

What’s also impressive is that #37 had such a great season despite dealing with a nagging groin injury that required a platelet-rich plasma shot in the summer. In fact, Bergeron’s ability to play through such injuries is something that makes the veteran center’s career even more remarkable, as he has often played through injuries than would have sidelined many others.

If there was one slight knock on Patrice Bergeron’s 2019-20 campaign, it might be his performance during the playoffs.

Like most of the team, Bergeron seemed a bit out of sync in the round robin, putting up just 1 assist in 4 games, but was able to follow-up those games with a strong series against the Carolina Hurricanes, including the goal below (see Show Your Work).

Unfortunately, the improved play didn’t translate over to the next series against the Lightning. And while some of Bergeron’s lack of offensive production against the Bolts has to be attributed to both of his linemates being injured to the point that they ended up needing post-season surgery, you still probably would have expected Bergeron to put up more than 2 assists and 12 shots in 5+ games. The season concluded with Bergeron once again being nominated for the Selke Trophy, but finishing 2nd in award voting.

No offense to the Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Couturier, but when the guy who finishes behind you in Selke voting (when on the ice) gives up fewer total even strength goals, fewer scoring chances, fewer total power play goals, has a lower expected goals against, a higher expected goals-for per 60 minutes, and a better +/-, you probably don’t deserve to win the Selke trophy.

Alas, the league continues to give the Selke to lesser deserving players...but you’d never hear Bergeron complaining.

So what’s next for Patrice Bergeron?

We can all hope for many more years like this past season, but at some point even St. Patrice has got to slow down. Let’s also all hope that Boston management is also aware of this fact, and they do their best to give Bergeron and the rest of this aging core a few more chances to win it all before it’s too late.

Show Your Work


On this team, few could hope to be his equal.


What’s your grade for Patrice Bergeron?

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  • 94%
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