Tonight marks a special milestone as The Boston Bruins face the New York Islanders tonight at the TD Garden. Regarded as one of the best two-way forwards in the league, the highly respected Patrice Bergeron will be playing his 1,000th game for the Black and Gold-the only team he has ever played for.
A Stellar Career
The 33-year-old four-time Selke Award winner is one of five players to play over 1,000 games while wearing a Bruins uniform. He joins Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Wayne Cashman and Don Sweeney. When asked recently about career in Boston, the center modestly answered:
“I’ve never really thought about my career. I guess the last few weeks I’ve has to answer those questions and kind of think about it…my best memories is always what I’ve been able to accomplish as a team and also the friends that I’ve made…It’s been special. Obviously, I mentioned that too, playing 1,000 games for the same organization is something that I’ve very proud of and I thinks it’s special. That adds to it for sure.”
As far as his future with the Bruins, Bergeron is taking one season at a time:
“Obviously, I have some years left on my contrast, but that being said, I’m still taking it a year at a time and I’m enjoying it…For now, I don’t see myself playing as long as Zee I splaying right now, but it goes fast. You never know.”
Toughness: they name is Bergeron
This season, number 37 is showing no real signs of slowing down, especially as being part of the league’s most formidable first line. And when it comes to who among players is the toughest, Bergeron takes the cake. In Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against Chicago, Bergeron displayed an unprecedented commitment and leadership for the team that landed him in the hospital for three days. If you didn’t know, Bergeron played the game with a train wreck of injuries, including a torn rib cartilage, broken rib, separated shoulder and a punctured lung. He won 45 percent of the face-offs, landed two hits and played 17 minutes, 45 second ice time. It doesn’t get tougher than that in any sport.
THEY SAID IT:
“Best two-way player I’ve ever coached…he’s also a great leader inside that dressing room and continues to be that. The Boston Bruins are fortunate to have him as one those guys because those guys are hard to find.”former Bruins coach Claude Julien
“People talk about dedication in hockey. I’m not sure anyone’s ever been more dedicated than him in that series, in that moment…I wouldn’t have had the toughness to muscle through the pain he was probably going through…he’s a warrior.”former teammate Shawn Thorton
The Bruins are coming off a 1-0 victory against the Washington Capitals, breaking a 14-game losing streak against the Caps. The win also marked a special career highlight for goaltender Tuukka Rask as he became the most winningest goalie in Bruins history (253). The Bruins are trading spots with the Montreal Canadiens when it comes to their position in the Atlantic Division. Bostons is currently in 4th with one point behind the Habs.
Boston last played the Islanders on November 29th and won 2-1 in a shootout. The Barry Trotz-led Islanders since then have fought their way to the top of the Metropolitan Division, going 16-3-2 in their last 21 games. Islander’s forward Mathew Barzal current leads the team in assists (31) and points (46). Anders Lee leads the team with 18 goals and Brock Nelson not far behind with 17. Goaltender Robin Lehner leads the league in goals against average (2.02) with a .932 save percentage. The Islanders are now 30-15-6 while Boston is 28-17-7. New York are on a eight-game point streak and recently won 4-2 over the LA Kings. The Islanders will be looking to break their losing streak against the Bruins as Boston has won five straight games against New York.
WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:00pm
WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, MSG+2