Bergeron ready to lead the way with consistency

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Bergeron ready to lead the way with consistency

It was a wholly different situation for Patrice Bergeron in Switzerland.
The Quebec native was near the Italian border playing for HC Lugano, and didnt speak the native tongue of the area. He also played right wing for the duration of his three-month stint in the Swiss League before playing a few games at his more familiar center spot during the Spengler Tournament in Davos.
Bergeron added another medal to his impressive trophy case by winning a Spengler Cup for Team Canada something to go with his Stanley Cup championship, Olympic gold medal, World Junior Championship gold medal, and World Championship Gold in a laundry list of accomplishments that simply blare out winner.
Now the 27-year-old alternate captain is simply happy to be back in Boston after posting 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 21 games for Lugano while waiting out the 113-day NHL lockout.
I feel pretty good. I kept busy during the lockout. Obviously Ive got to get back used to the small ice, but its great to be back with the guys, said Bergeron. Im excited. You never know until you play your first game, but the tempo of the game was very fast. I also got to play in the Spengler Cup, and the competition in that was very high.
Im just looking forward to getting started now.
While Bergeron was playing more of an offensive role at the wing in Switzerland than his two-way responsibilities down the middle in Boston, the pivot isnt worried about jumping back into his defensive and faceoff duties. On Thursday he was skating with Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin during battle drills in tight areas around the net, and it looked like little time had passed for one of Bostons well-entrenched forward lines.
That speaks to the advantage Bergeron and the Bruins may have with so many players returning with great familiarity toward each other, and the same coaching staff preaching the exact same systems.
Consistency is going to be the main key to have success in a 48-game season, said Bergeron. You need to perform right away and keep it up throughout the whole time. Its going to be a grind, for sure, but its also going to be fun for the players and for the fans.
If consistency is needed for success during this abbreviated NHL season, the Bruins could do a lot worse than looking at steady No. 37 to lead the way.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."
 

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?


Phil Perry and CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran debate which receiver has been better for the Patriots: Wes Welker or Julian Edelman? It's part of this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.