RALEIGH, N.C. Most hockey players might have been upset about being snubbed for an All-Star game selection when they were so deserving of the honor.
But then again Patrice Bergeron isnt most players. In addition to being the most criminally underrated forward of his generation in the NHL, Bergeron is also perhaps the perfect teammate. The two-way center understands the complete game he has to play in all zones on the ice, and he completely buys into the team concept off the ice when it comes to individual accolades.
The 26-year-old admitted he would have liked being selected to the NHL All-Star game this because because it would have been his first time. But Bergeron knows there are bigger goals to a season that could very end with another deep run into the postseason, and knows a four-day rest in the middle of the season is something that will benefit him.
Instead Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and linemate Tyler Seguin will be headed to the NHL All-Star game weekend while Bergeron heads back to Quebec City for a few days of rest and relaxation.
I was happy for Seguin and obviously for Zee and Timmy, said Bergeron. It doesnt really matter. At the end of the day its one of those things where its all about the team. Last year the reason we won was because we were playing like a team and nobody was worried about individual stuff. So its the same thing this year.
It would have been nice because it would have been my first time, but if you look at the schedule in February and March that time off is going to be huge. Im always aware that people arent looking at the details of the game as much as the results, and thats fine with me. My teammates see it and thats all that matters to me.
Bergeron potted his 12th goal of the season in Saturday nights 4-2 loss and is second on the Bruins with 37 points this year, so his offensive credentials are where they need to be. The center is winning close to 60 percent of his face-offs and is among the NHL plusminus leaders with a plus-27, but still sits on the outside of the All-Star selection process despite the Stanley Cup resume.
Bergeron said he would go to Ottawa if asked to fill in as an injury replacement leading up to the event, but count his coach among the people that felt it shouldnt have even come to that.
With Bergeron its the whole package: when I talk about the whole package its his demeanor, his professionalism, how he shows up at the rink every day, how he practices every day and how he wants to work as hard as he can every day, said Claude Julien. He just carries that into the game. Hes as consistent a player as Ive ever seen and hes so reliable at both ends of the ice.
Everybody talks about those players that score 50 goals or lead the league in points, but if you look at the whole package theyre not as good defensively. I dont know if hes underrated, but if he is then hes starting to stick out more. He deserves in my mind to be acknowledged as a top player in the NHL. In my mind hes a player that easily could have been added to that All-Star list because hes deserving of that opportunity.
Theres no doubt Bergeron is deserving of the honor, but he may have wait another year before hes recognized for the All-Star hes truly become.