Bergeron: We Need to Help the Team
BostonBruins.com - With the clock hitting 10:27 in the second period of Friday night's Game 5 at TD Garden, Patrice Bergeron nearly broke a scoreless tie. But Toronto netminder James Reimer's right toe got a piece of the puck, point-blank, robbing him of the opportunity.
"I was kind of still turning, I just tried to go as fast as I could. Obviously I’d like to see that one again," said Bergeron, following the game. "It’s one of those things that in the moment you’re just trying to put it in the back of the net, but now obviously I had more time than I thought I had and it’s got to go in."
It was a glimpse of just how difficult its been this series for Bergeron's line, along with Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand, to find the back of the net. Heading into the playoffs, the line had talked amongst themselves, and to media, about how they were working to find their game, that they wanted to step up and contribute. With Game 6 tonight, that still remains the focus.
The trio has confidence to draw from - after all, there was a point during the regular season when the line combined for 41 points in 12 games. Marchand led the Bruins with 18 goals and 36 points. Bergeron and Seguin tied for second with 32 points apiece.
So far through five games, the line has combined for 59 shots on Reimer, including 16 in their Game 2 loss at TD Garden, but Bergeron has been the only linemate to get one past, and it came on the power play. They've been getting chances, but burying has been the tough part.
"It felt pretty good to get some offensive going, obviously," Bergeron said on May 8, following his goal on the man-advantage, and the B's 4-3 overtime win. "We've got to do that as a line."
"It's about helping any way you can. It's not always about points and goals; it's about chipping in and doing the little details, but also, as a line, we've got to contribute offensively."
Defensively, the trio has stood above water. Seguin has not been on the ice for any of Toronto's 12 goals in the series. But, on the flip side, he has only been on the ice for two of the Bruins' tallies.
"I’m not going to start going after them specifically for this, for that," said Coach Julien following an optional practice Saturday at TD Garden, before traveling to Toronto for Game 6. "They can be better. That’s all I can say right now is we expect them to be better, and what they’ve got to do better, we’re addressing with them."
"We’re doing some work with those guys to help them find those parts of their game and you hope that that’s going to be the case tomorrow."
Their individual ice-time, and contributions beyond putting up goals and assists, has fluctuated throughout the five games, with the B's alternate captain being - as always - the most consistent. But their overall game that has made them such a weapon at times - their two-way play formed around Bergeron's reliability and faceoff prowess, coupled with the wingers' speed - hasn't yet found its playoff level.
But, the passion is still there, the playoff drive still in effect.
"I think it's just about us as a line being a bit smarter with the puck and being smart with how we're playing our game," Seguin told reporters Sunday morning before Game 6. "I think we've been passionate, we've been working hard. It's just about being a bit smarter, being a bit more confident and calm with the puck, support each other a little bit more all over the ice."
Bergeron has been on the anchor between Marchand and Seguin for some time, and the chemistry between their group is never questioned. With that, the Bruins' alternate captain tried to explain what the trio can focus on to start getting on the scoresheet, even if it takes getting to Game No. 6 for that to happen.
"Every player has been through that before and that’s what it comes down to. It’s about doing the little things right and going back to basics and then moving your feet and being hard on the puck and things will fall in place," said Bergeron.
Their fellow teammate, Milan Lucic, is no stranger to going through a tough stretch without contributing offensively. He may not have a goal yet in the postseason, but has been instrumental in the B's first round series, and offered his thoughts on how Marchand and Seguin could get out of their "slumps."
"I think you have to try to do whatever you can to get yourself out of it and not put so much emphasis on scoring," said Lucic. "Because, if you look at, you can't get to C without accomplishing A and B, so just focus on A and B more so, and then it will get you to the result you want to get to."
"Once you go a couple of games without scoring, all you think about is scoring, to the point where what happened to me this year, where all I was thinking about was goals," Lucic added. "But at the end of the day, I think it's like I just talked about about, when I just focused on those one or two things, everything else just took care of itself."
"We need to just go out there and help the team," Bergeron said prior to heading to Toronto, very straightforward of what his line needs to bring for the Bruins. "It’s one thing to do some little details right, but you’ve also got to help the team offensively."
"It’s things that we’ve done all year as a line and we’ve got to keep that going obviously even more so in the playoffs so it’s about doing that [Sunday night], and finding a way."
"We can’t just be frustrated. We got to go out there and do it for our team."