Yes, you can hate his Bruins linemate, Brad Marchand, but it’s very difficult not to like or at least respect Boston team captain Patrice Bergeron. He returns to play against the Vancouver Canucks in a building that holds probably his two greatest hockey memories. One, the Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada in 2010, and two, the game winning goal in Game-7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final a year-and-a-half later.
Yes, that fact sucks for Vancouver Canucks fans, but Bergeron performs and behaves in a manner that would make any Canadian proud. He also happens to be a member of the exclusive international “Triple-Gold Club”, players that have own both of the aforementioned plus a World Championship Gold Medal. Bergeron did that with Canada in 2004.
He won Olympic Gold with Canada again in 2014.
I also ran into acting head coach Joe Sacco of the Bruins, running the bench with Bruce Cassidy having to stay back in Boston because of a positive Covid test. Balanced scoring is the need his club has right now as they begin this three-game western road trip.
Here’s the conversation with “Bergie”. You can also actually listen to it at the bottom of the page.
Rob Simpson: Simmer’s morning skate with Patrice Bergeron back in Vancouver. Well, you must have some fond memories, actually I know you do.
Patrice Bergeron: Yes, I do. Definitely. Every time I come back, it always brings back those memories of, you know, obviously the Olympics, but you know, the Stanley Cup. The Game-7, and when we were able to win and hoist the cup. So that was pretty special, actually.
RS: Yeah, some very nervous moments in this city for you. I mean, obviously, those are two situations where you must have had some butterflies in your stomach, as ever.
PB: Yeah, I mean, I guess it was good-like nervousness, if you put it that way. I think it was like good pressure. And so I guess that’s why you play the game. It’s for those moments. I mean, definitely nerve wracking moments, but fun to be a part of.
RS: Favourite memory of winning that Gold, afterwards?
PB: The Gold Medal? Yeah, definitely. With the celebrations, we’re in Canada and the country is going nuts, the city was going nuts. My family was here, was able to celebrate with me. I think all of that put together was pretty special. But you know, the one thing I remember is, it’s definitely the celebration right after that goal. But beyond that, I think it’s being able to be in your home, in your home country, and winning and and also having to celebrate with your family as well.
RS: The fans here don’t necessarily love this fact, but you have credit for the game winning goal, Stanley Cup, against the Vancouver Canucks. I mean, that’s something that’s, you know, irreplaceable.
PB: Yeah, I mean, it’s special. You know, those memories again, the Olympics is one thing, obviously playing in the greatest sports event in the world. But you know, winning the Stanley Cup is a, you know, a childhood dream and something that you fight for the whole year and you battle with your teammates during the playoffs.
We call it the grind. You know, it is a grind. It’s two and a half months and it’s, you know, four best-of-sevens and lots of ups and downs. So to be able to to win that game and score that goal was was, you know, something I’ll never forget for sure.
RS: Alright. It’s the morning skate. So I have to ask you one question about the game tonight and the Bruins right now. What are the issues that are confronting this hockey team?
PB: Well, I think we’re, you know, we’re a good team. We’ve obviously had some issues with, you know, injuries and guys coming out with the illness and what-not, COVID or non-COVID related. But that being said, I think we have a lot of new players coming along and are trying to gel as a team. And we’re really, I think we’re starting to hit our stride a little bit.
You know, we’ve had some some ups and downs already, but that’s actually not a bad thing. You know, adversity is probably good early on in the year and you try to learn from it and move on. And you know, as we all know, it’s a long year. So you try to take it a week at a time, and that’s what we’re trying to do right now.
RS: I know the fans here, they might not like Brad Marchand too much, your linemate, but I know they have a great deal of respect for you. And you and I go back a ways, had some fun doing some media back in the day. I don’t know when I’m going to run into you again. I know I’ll probably head there for your jersey going up and hopefully I’ll be at your Hall of Fame induction. But thank you very much as usual for taking a few minutes and best of luck.
PB: I appreciate that, Simmer. We did have some, some great moments and great memories back in the day and always a great pleasure to run into you.
Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks, 7 pm, Rogers Arena
The actual audio version: