If the Boston Bruins go on to lift the Stanley Cup later this week, Patrice’s speech will live in lore alongside Tuukka’s dominance and Zdeno Chara’s return from a broken jaw.
This playoff run was in danger of ending right here. There were more than 100,000 people gathered outside Enterprise Center in anticipation of the St. Louis Blues closing out their first ever championship on Sunday, and with the heat turned up to 100 before Game 6 it was Patrice Bergeron that adjusted the emotional thermostat in the visiting room.
Bergeron is a conqueror of two Olympic finals and a Stanley Cup Final, and is not the type to waste his words. The ones he spoke with Boston’s season on the line struck a chord that helped set the stage for Game 7 back in the friendly confines of TD Garden.
"It was exactly what we needed," said 21-year-old defenceman Charlie McAvoy, Boston’s ice time leader in these playoffs and a self-proclaimed emotional wreck before the game.
"It was an element of what the dream is: Growing up, every one of us shares the same dream and kind of just bringing us all to a point where we can all be on the same field. We were all a little kid once and we all wanted this bad. And I think it was just an element of savouring this moment and not letting it end tonight."
Bergeron backed it up, too.
He was one of the few Boston skaters who kept the puck moving in the right direction during a tense first period. It is basically an open secret at this point that he’s playing at well less than 100 per cent, but that didn’t keep him from firing three shots on goal during the key opening 20.