“He was like, ‘Love you guys, you guys are the best’…we were like, ‘Hey, just take this moment.’ That’s just who he is,” he said Nick Foligno. “As a role model, sometimes you can be disappointed by certain people-he’s a guy that lives up to it every time. I think that’s a big character trait of his. He just does n’t disappoint.
“It’s just who he is. It speaks volumes about his parents and the way he was raised and the values he’s stood for his whole life. It’s a reason why he’s gonna be a Hall of Famer one day.”
Bergeron’s milestone helper came on Boston’s fourth of five consecutive goals, helping the Black & Gold overcome a sluggish start to secure a 5-3 win over the Lightning at Amaile Arena on Monday night for their seventh consecutive victory, which improved their record to a remarkable 17-2-0.
Following yet another triumph, Bergeron couldn’t help but reflect on the moment – not to appreciate his own accomplishment, but rather the way his teammates embraced him in its aftermath.
“That was probably the most special thing about it,” said Bergeron. “To have all the guys jump on and share that with them, that was great. Definitely something that I’ll remember for a long time.”
Marchand, who has been by Bergeron’s side for nearly a dozen years, was the one to jumpstart the celebration. Almost immediately after he corralled a bouncing puck in the slot and ripped a quick wrister by the glove of Vasilevskiy to give Boston a 4-1 advantage with 4:52 left in the second, he began to point at Bergeron and rush to his side, having quickly processed that his longtime linemate had started the play with a dish to him in the neutral zone.
“I started counting the touches in between the goal,” Marchand said with a chuckle. “Once it went in, I was like, ‘Alright, I passed it to someone, Bergy passed it to me, I shot it.’ I was like, ‘It’s in!’ It just took a few seconds to add up who all touched the puck.It was kind of bouncing around there.
“Obviously, it was something we’ve talked about the last number of days and even throughout the year because we knew it was coming. It’s an incredible milestone. It just adds to his career and everything he’s accomplished. He’s done so much.”
Bergeron became the fourth player in Bruins history to hit the 1,000-point plateau with the club, joining Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339), and Phil Esposito (1,012). The 37-year-old is also the eighth active NHLer to accomplish the feat, joining Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar, Eric Staal, and Nicklas Backstrom.
“You know it’s there and obviously a possibility, something that was within my reach,” Bergeron said when asked if the chance at 1,000 points factored into his return to the Bruins over the summer. “At the same time, with the type of team that we have, I knew I had more to give. I knew we had a deep team and having those conversations with [David Krejci] as well, knowing that he was leaning towards coming back, that’s what influenced me to really want to sign that one-year contract.
“As I’ve said many times, it’s a special game that gives you a lot and obviously you go through a lot of ups and downs but all you remember is, really, those memories, those friendships, and the guys you go to battle with. It was a special moment, of course.”
And fitting that it came on a goal from his righthand man.
“Whatever way it happens, it’s fine,” said Bergeron. “But it means even more when it’s a guy who has been on my side for such a long time and has such a big impact on the team but also on my career.”
March and acknowledged that the Bruins were doing everything they could to get Bergeron his 1,000th point on Saturday night in their 6-1 win over Chicago – during which the centerman had two points – so he could have the moment in front of the TD Garden crowd. But with a healthy contingent of the Black & Gold faithful in attendance at Amalie Arena, Bergeron got his due with a loud ovation when his accomplishment was displayed on the jumbotron, before a chant of “Bergy! Bergy! Bergy!” broke out.
“It means a lot,” said Bergeron. “The fans are a big part of this game. It’s a special relationship. When you’re on the road it’s great to play and see the atmosphere and animosity and whatnot, but obviously to see that, it’s great. I appreciate it a lot As I said, the fans are a huge part of this game. They make it even more special.”
On the other bench, Tampa coach Jon Cooper and the Lightning players couldn’t help but appreciate Bergeron’s feat.
“I actually didn’t want to see it tonight but if you’re gonna tell me we’re gonna lose the game then I’m glad I got to actually witness it live,” said Cooper. “Coached against that guy for a lot of years, had a lot of battles…playoffs [series] – he’s a hell of a kid. I’ve gotten to know him over the years. You just cheer for him and marvel at all these years how he can still be an elite player. Well deserved.”
Boston’s bench boss, Jim Montgomery, delivered similar praise for his captain’s achievement.
“I think how special of a person he is and how loved he is,” Montgomery said of the reaction of Bergeron’s teammates to his 1,000th point. “The players love him. It’s a tribute to him. I joked around the other day – I’m like, ‘if he had any kind of cheat in his game, he might have 1,200 points already or 1,300.’ He’s so dedicated to playing the right way and having success, he always thinks team, it’s amazing.”
Like his coach, Marchand couldn’t help but think of where No. 37 might be if not for his unwavering commitment to the other end of the ice.
“For a guy that plays so hard defensively, to achieve that – it’s one thing when you’re just a high-end point guy, but for him to essentially take over the Selke name and get 1,000 points at the same time, it’s an incredible stat,” said Marchand. “It’s impressive. Couldn’t happen to a better guy. We’re all so happy for him and it’s fun for us all to be a part of.”
Marchand even went as far as to say that his goal coming from Bergeron’s 1,000th career point ranks among the most special moments of his own NHL career.
“To get a front-row seat to everything he does each night, it was definitely one of my career highlights and favorite moments,” said Marchand. “Even just the lead up, knowing it was coming at some point…it’s just such a cool moment. You know it’s a huge milestone when time stops in a game like that and you can celebrate a player and milestone.
“It’s a huge deal. He deserves that moment and to take that time to enjoy it and remember it and another huge celebration here tonight after the game. It’s really cool.”
For Foligno, the moment – like Bergeron – did not disappoint.
“I’m thrilled for him. It’s such a testament to the type of player that he is,” said Foligno. “With Bergy, he’s so impressive on the ice, off the ice, what it means to be a good pro, a Boston Bruin. He’s somebody that any guy in the league has admired from a far. To be here and witness it up close , for me, has been pretty special.
“He’s a guy people care a lot about. I’ve just come to learn how professional, how good of a person he is. There’s a reason why this team is so good every year because you have a guy like that, everybody follows. “