Patrice Bergeron has played in two Stanley Cup Finals. One ended with him and his Boston Bruins teammates hoisting the greatest trophy in sports. The other ended in excruciating pain.
After the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Bruins in six games in the 2013 Cup Final, it was revealed that Bergeron had played the deciding game with cracked ribs, torn cartilage and a punctured lung suffered in Game 5, plus a separated shoulder sustained during the first period of Game 6. He logged 17:45 of ice time in the loss, then wound up in the hospital.
Here’s an excerpt:
I knew this wasn?t something I could miss. Not after three playoff series. Not when we were that close to the Cup.
But when the game started, I began to feel worse and worse. Still, I tried to ignore it. We were two months into the playoffs — of course, I was feeling tired. Shift by shift, I made it through the game, which we ended up losing in a heartbreaker — not that anybody reading this needs to be reminded.
When it was all over, I shook hands with the guys on the other team and then sort of stumbled back to the locker room. The trainers evaluated me, and then I ended up at the hospital where they determined I had suffered a punctured lung.
But … I?d do it all again.
The cracked ribs, the cartilage, even the punctured lung. I?d do it all again in a second.
You can read the full essay, which also includes Bergeron’s takes on Claude Julien’s firing and Brad Marchand’s agitation, right here.
The Bruins will visit the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images