When Patrice Bergeron’s kids were all on the bench for the final game warmup of the last home game this season in Boston, a few fans started putting the idea in the heads of Bruins nation that this was a sign Bergeron might be ready to call it quits after this season. After all, why would Bergeron make sure his kids were there to see him do something he’s done countless times before?
The immediate response is to probably not read too much into it.
A record-setting year for his team, Boston is clearly the favorite to make it to the Stanley Cup Final out of the Eastern Conference. They are probably most bettors’ favorites to win it all. The Bruins could wind up with 135 points when everything is said and done, with Bergeron being a key part of the team’s success and it’s hard to imagine anyone who can still play at a high level wanting to leave such a formidable group.
However, if the Bruins win, perhaps that would be the swan song for Bergeron and the best way to end his NHL career. He signed a team-friendly one-year deal this past summer and the idea was to win. If they do, what else is there to play for?
Meanwhile, David Krejci is facing a similar decision. While he’s not the impactful player Bergeron is, he’s still an integral part of the Bruins’ overall offense and he returned from Czechia to take one more run at the Cup. It feels like the right decision because no team has a better shot than these Bruins do.
But, what if they don’t win?
It’s no longer a shock when the team that wins the Presidents’ Trophy doesn’t win the Stanley Cup. In fact, it’s not really a shocker when that team doesn’t get out of the first round. Too often, the teams with the best record in the regular season falter in the playoffs and are bounced early when their opponent gets hot at the right time. The parity in the NHL makes that a possibility every year and while the Bruins are the best team ever to jump into the playoffs as the favorite, like any other team, they could lose. What if that happens? Will Bergeron and Krejci want to come back?
It’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t. How does a team with such a good record not feel like they have to try again if they don’t reach the promised land? Getting that close but not achieving one’s goal is likely only going to motivate both men to give it one more go. Both Bergeron and Krejci can still play and money isn’t the issue. Meanwhile, the Bruins’ motivation to keep them around is simple: they’re still effective players.
The Bruins may get their storybook ending. They may not. Either way, there are plenty of reasons for both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to seriously consider another run when their original plan might have been to see this season out and hang up their skates.
Next: Insider Says Zero Chance GM And Coach Return to Flames Next Season
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