Patrice Bergeron: Playing Against Pavel Datsyuk ‘Always A Great Challenge’

Patrice BergeronBOSTON — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is one of the best two-way players in the world, but he’ll face a worthy adversary when the B’s begin their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

One of the key matchups will pit Bergeron against another former Selke Trophy winner, Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk. The centers¬†have been considered two¬†of the best at their position, and their matchup will be very interesting to watch as this series plays out. There’s no denying that there’s a ton of respect on Bergeron’s side when it comes to matching up against Datsyuk.

“It’s always a great challenge.” Bergeron said Friday morning. “He’s a terrific player and he’s won before. He’s really a great player and tough to play against. It’s a great challenge for everyone.”

While it will take a team effort to slow Datsyuk and the rest of Detroit’s dangerous top line, the responsibility might fall heaviest on Bergeron’s shoulders. That’s fitting as Bergeron says he’s modeled parts of his game after the “Magic Man.”

“He’s definitely a guy that plays the way that I like to play on both sides of the rink,” Bergeron added. “He obviously has amazing skills. He plays the way that I like. There are a lot of players I’ve taken notes from, and he’s certainly one of them.”

Datsyuk has given the Bruins problems in the past. He’s been able to score three goals and add eight assists in 13 career games against Boston.