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Yet again, Patrice Bergeron had a remarkable year for the Boston Bruins in his 18th season which culminated with his fifth career Selke Trophy win.
There’s not much more that can be said about Bergeron that hasn’t already been said because every year, he’s consistently the heart and soul of the team with the stats to match.
His fifth Selke win proved he’s the standard for all defensive forwards and why he hasn’t lost any steam heading into his 19th year.
In this second season helming the Bruins, Bergeron again led the team by example and help keep the B’s top line stay one of the best in the league – no matter the combination of that line at times last season.
Looking at stats, his face-off win percentage for 2021-22 - at 61.9% - was nearly comparable to the previous season. That season at 62.2% was his best, but last season was not far off coming in at his third best face-off percentage overall in 18 years.
His time on ice edged down only three seconds to 18:10 per game last season. Bergeron had the third most points last season on the Bruins with 65 points, third to only Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. But he had his second-best production in the past six seasons registering those 65 points.
Bergeron continued to be a driving force on special teams. His simplicity to create effective plays and ease of moving the puck on the power play kept the first unit in control when he was out there.
And he’s still part of the Bruins’ top penalty killing duo. His and Marchand’s aggressive style led to even more shorthanded goals last season.
He had two, four-point games during the 2021-22 season, with an impressive four-goal game against the Detroit Red Wings on November 4, 2021. He naturally scored a hat trick in that game – with all three goals on the power play – before adding his fourth goal at even strength in the game’s final minutes. His four-goal night was only the second time in his career he’s registered four goals in a game.
Bergeron also hit a 400-goal milestone before the regular season expired. He’s now only 18 points shy of 1,000 NHL points. We’ll likely – obviously – get to see him accomplish this milestone and at the same time hit 600 career assists (he’s at 582) during the upcoming season.
Although the Bruins’ playoff dreams last season was short-lived, Bergeron had a great series. Heck, he even played with a bloody eye in Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
In seven games, he put up three goals and four assists – with one power-play goal and two power-play points overall - and helped push the series to the brink. It’s just tough when a team is relying on production only from its top forwards during the playoffs.
But Bergeron will have at least one more, possibly final, go-at-it.
Bergeron’s status for this season lingered throughout the spring and summer, but he ultimately signed a one-year deal for the 2022-23 season.
We’ve got a lot to look forward to with Bergeron this season. More perfection, more milestones to hit and hopefully one last shot at glory.
The end of his reign is nearing, and this could be the final run. He deserves one more Stanley Cup and this is the Bruins’ chance to help him accomplish that feat.
The number of players in his lifetime to compare like this is both very small and excellent company to be in. For the young Bruins fan, we should all be very lucky we get to watch him play.
Highlight - Bergeron’s four-goal game in November 2021 against the Red Wings: