Claude Julien knows first hand just how important Patrice Bergeron is for the Bruins, so he certainly can attest to the type of leadership he brings to Boston.
Julien, now head of the Montreal Canadiens, coached the B’s from 2007-17 and won the Stanley Cup in 2011, reached the Final again in 2013 with Bergeron as part of the roster.
It’s easy to see the 33-year-old’s leadership on the ice and the respect his teammates have for him. But what exactly makes Bergeron such a good leader?
“That’s easy. He’s inspirational,” Julien said Tuesday, via NHL.com. “Whether you’re a coach, a teammate or a fan, his influence rubs off on you.
“Even (the) St. Louis (Blues) would say they’d take Patrice Bergeron on their side,” he added. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”
There’s no doubt his influence has an impact on his teammates, as we saw in his inspirational Game 6 speech to the Black and Gold en route to their 5-1 win. His speech didn’t surprise his former coach, though, noting Bergeron “picks the right times” to address his teammates.
“I know he stood up in the dressing room the other night to address his team, and I wasn’t surprised at all,” Julien said. “He picks the right times to stand up and talk where guys are listening. He doesn’t do it all the time, because if you do it, just like when coaches talk, you do it too much and it goes in one ear and out the other. He’s got that ability, that quality to do it right.”
Bergeron will look to have that same impact Wednesday night when the Bruins try to become the champions of the NHL world with a Game 7 Stanley Cup victory over the Blues at TD Garden.