While some of the Bruins are up in Ottawa Thursday afternoon, getting ready for their game against the Senators, some of Boston’s star players are back home getting some much-needed rest before the playoffs.
Patrice Bergeron was one of the lucky ones to get the night off, so he swung by the 98.5 The Sports Hub studios to hang out with Gresh and Zo for the last hour of the show.
Bergeron touched on a lot of topics during the 20+ minutes on the air, and it all started with the playoffs. What is different this season, now that the Bruins are defending champs, from last season as the team prepared for the playoffs?
“I think we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. We got a lot of experience winning it last year and knowing that we have to take it a game at a time in the playoffs and not look too far ahead,” said Bergeron. “It looks like it’s going to be Ottawa –we’re 98-percent sure – we’re getting ready for them and making sure the first game is the main focus.”
Bergeron won’t get a chance for one final tune-up against the Senators, and didn’t know what to do with himself on the rare off-day.
“It’s weird. It’s weird to be here with all the guys in Ottawa. I don’t know what to do with myself,” Bergeron joked. “I’m used to the schedule; going with the guys and playing. I’m happy to have a chance to rest, it’s a good thing, but it is different for sure.”
Read: Bruins-Senators Preview
The Bruins have recently warmed up, winning seven of their last 10. Bergeron said this is the right time of the year to get hot, but the Bruins still have to make sure they don’t loose focus once the postseason begins.
“We see it every year; teams that are feeling good about themselves heading into the playoffs, teams that are playing good the last 10 games to end the season usually have a good playoff run. It is positive that we’re playing good hockey, but we still need to take care of business when we get into the playoffs,” he said. “It’s a battle. We saw it last year; every playoff, every series is a battle. We’re expecting the same thing this year. We are ready for a long run, ready for battles, for long series. But obviously we have to take care of business in round one.”
Here are a few of the other topics Bergeron touched on, including some from callers:
Has Claude Julien changed at all since last year?
“He’s the same coach, same guy as last year. I don’t think he worries about what’s goes on around the room. He keeps telling us to put ourselves in our own bubble as a team and not worry about media, fans, whatever it is. Just worry about ourselves and making sure we do the job. I think he believes in us, he believes in his system, and it’s been working. We do believe in him as well.”
On playing with Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand
“It’s been going well. I can’t say enough about both of them. Every time I come to the rink they make me laugh with whatever they say.”
Does he ever feel like a babysitter with them?
“No. Obviously you have to answer a lot of questions on the ice, and off the ice sometimes. But it’s all good, that’s what I’m here for. They’ve brought the best out of me all year. They’re guys that want to win and score goals, they want to get involved and I can never ask for anything different. They’re great line mates and they’re going to be great players for a long time.”
On Shawn Thornton’s leadership
“I think the perfect example is last year in the playoffs. He wasn’t playing against Vancouver and as soon as he jumped in he make an impact right away. He’s really important for our team; he’s a leader and a veteran as well. He does a lot around the community, and he’s a class act. We are really happy to have him on our side.”