With five season with the Bruins under his belt, it's easy to forget that Patrice Bergeron remains only 23 years old. But when talk of re-signing Boston's young nucleus comes up this summer, it's more likely Bergeron and his $4.75 million salary will be mentioned as potential trade bait.
Bergeron overcame a second concussion that forced him to miss 15 games this season to register 39 points (8 goals, 31 assists) and seemed to regain his old form late in the 2008-09 campaign. He missed all but 10 games last season with the original concussion, but had put together back-to-back 70-point campaigns before the head injuries.
During Monday's breakdown day at the Garden, Bergeron reflected on what went wrong against Carolina, and made a plea for keeping the nucleus of this team together.
Check out some of the Q&A below, or watch the video at the top of this entry.
So what exactly happened in the Carolina series?
"It's tough to know the factor or what the reason why we lost that series," said Bergeron. "One thing for sure is that we have to give credit to Carolina, and more than they've gotten so far. They're a great team. they played well. I thought we played a good series. We played great against Montreal and against Carolina we played good, but not every game. We kind of sat back in Game 2 and that cost us a big game because that would have been huge to be up 2-0 right away. Being 1-1 going to Carolina, they had the momentum and we were not able to break their momentum over there."
Did five wins to start the playoffs make it seem too easy?
"We're not the type of team to get carried away," said Bergeron. "I thought we had some stretches, the 10-game wining streak, where we never got ahead of ourselves, in any way. So I don't think that was part of it. Maybe, the only thing is that, I don't want to say we were overconfident, but maybe when you don't face that big of a challenge for the first five games, you kind of put your guard down. That's when it bites you. Maybe that's what happened, but i honestly believe we just weren't focused and sharp enough in Game 2 and that cost us."
How important is it to keep this team together for the 2009-10 season?
"I think it's very important," said Bergeron. "We've come a long way in the past year and a half. We've made so many step forwards that I hope this team stays together. The chemistry, the team spirit, the way that we gelled as a team; Even off the ice, it's amazing. I don't think I've been a part of a team that close. Hopefully (Bruins General Manager) Peter (Chiarelli) is able to -- and i know it'll be a tough job -- we hope he's able to pull something out of his hat."
Previous Exit Interviews
- May 23: Aaron Ward
- May 22: Andrew Ference
- May 21: Zdeno Chara
- May 20: Milan Lucic
- May 19: Mark Recchi
- May 18: David Krejci