Patrice Bergeron is 36-years-old but still is playing near the top of his game.
Bergeron has been a member of the Bruins for 18 years and although he got off to a slow start, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is confident in him and believes he has built himself to play well into this stage of his career.
“I think Bergy’s prepared himself his whole career and been a good pro, so that as he gets older he’ll be able to handle that. I mean that’s not something you can wake up at 35 and say, ‘Okay I’ve got to start conditioning myself better, eating better’ or whatever the case may be. He’s been looking after himself for a long time,” Cassidy said via team-provided audio. “He’s functioned well with his line mates. He’s learned to, I don’t want to say adapt because Bergy’s going to be Bergy no matter what, but he understands how they play, where they need the puck and how he can get the puck from them as well so there’s been good chemistry there.”
Cassidy didn’t stop there and even likened Bergeron’s transition into playing at a high level at an older age to another certain New England sports legend.
“I don’t want to go with the (Tom Brady) comparisons necessarily because I’ve never been in a room with Tom Brady, but I’ve watched him a lot. I do see high, high intelligence and another guy that seems to have been able to take care of himself so that when these years come he’s prepared for it. So yes, I’d put them in the same category in that regard,” Cassidy said. “I think guys that last a long time typically do have to be high IQ guys because I think everything slows down as you get older. That’s just nature and that’s how those guys play a little longer than most. They think the game well and understand it, play within themselves and don’t try to be something they’re not.”
It took eight games for the Captain to pot his first goal, but the team always knew that it was only a matter of time before Bergeron broke out of his slump. Through eight games now Bergeron has the four goals to go along with three assists for seven points so far and if he were to continue this pace throughout the season it would give him 72 points — one short of his career-high of 73.
Obviously it’s a long season and a lot can happen, but Bergeron certainly is still playing at a high level.