Thursday’s regular season finale marked the first day that the historically dominant Boston Bruins had nothing to truly play for in 81 games. And in a potentially cruel twist of fate, franchise icon Patrice Bergeron was pulled from their road game versus the Montreal Canadiens out of precaution due to an upper-body injury, according to the B’s Twitter.
It is certainty reasonable to presume that Bergeron’s removal was exactly what the team said- “precautionary”- and nothing for fans to be alarmed about with the playoffs right around the corner. In fact, resting star older players in the last game before intense, high-stakes competition commences is customary in most leagues. Yet, Bergeron playing five-and-a-half minutes and then being benched for the night is going to raise eyebrows.
Though, there is a possible explanation, or at least the one fans will use to allay their fears. The 37-year-old captain could just have wanted to play a few minutes in front of his home province of Quebec one last time before the season ends. Or even his career.
When Bergeron signed a one-year contract going into 2022-23, some speculated he could be considering retirement after 19 years in the NHL, all with the Bruins. He has not looked like a man desperately trying to flee Father Time, though. His clutch gene will be crucial to the franchise’s postseason success, as he ranks in the top 20 of the league with seven game-winning goals.
But most importantly, Patrice Bergeron remains the heart and soul of this team and will be extremely difficult to replace when his time in Boston does officially come to an end. For now, fans just hope that this was just standard maintenance and not an omen that the Bruins will be the latest victim of the Presidents’ Trophy Curse.
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