Toronto Maple Leafs Enemy Patrice Bergeron Calls it a Career

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 30: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins waves to fans before exiting the ice after Florida Panthers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 30: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins waves to fans before exiting the ice after Florida Panthers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Earlier this week, future first-ballot hall-of-famer (and noted Toronto Maple Leafs killer) Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement from the NHL.

Bergeron was best known for being the best defensive forward of his generation, his leadership, his off-ice work, and breaking the hearts of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It is well known the Leafs and Bruins have one of the best rivalries in the NHL, and that was on full display in the 2010s, when the teams played each other in 3 best-of-seven series, with Boston coming out on top in all 3.

Patrice Bergeron was an extremely consistent player in his years, including scoring 20+ goals in each of the last 10 seasons. 

But he almost always seemed to elevate his game when he played against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here are some of the best examples of that:

Toronto Maple Leafs Enemy Patrice Bergeron Calls it a Career

2019 First Round

In the first round of the NHL playoffs, the Leafs and Bruins faced off for the 3rd time in 7 seasons, with Boston winning both in 2013 and 2018.

However, things were looking like maybe the Leafs would finally win a round. They held a 3-2 series lead over the Bruins and had all the momentum going back to Toronto for game 6. In that game 6, the Leafs led 1-0 in the first period, where Patrice Bergeron set up Brad Marchand for the tying goal just a few minutes later.

The Bruins went on to win game 6 by a score of 4-2. Bergeron wasn’t done there. In game 7, he added an empty net dagger in the third period, putting the game out of reach and securing a 4-3 series lead for the Bruins.

2018 First Round

Going back to the previous year, it was the same matchup. #2 seed Boston taking on #3 seed Toronto. In this series, Bergeron was even better.

Despite playing only 6 games, he managed to put up 8 points vs the Leafs in the series. Bergeron’s play was highlighted with a 4-assist game 2, as well as 2 more assists in the third period of game 7, where the Bruins overcame a 4-3 deficit to win the game 7-4.

Believe it or not, there is still one more series where Bergeron killed the Leafs even more than he did in this one.

2013 First Round

It surprises me this series is already 10 years ago, but it still remains iconic to this day.

The Leafs had overcome a 3-1 deficit to tie the series, and against everyone’s expectations, were up 4-1 with roughly 11 minutes remaining.

At 18:38 of the third period, Bergeron notched an assist on Milan Lucic’s goal, making the score 4-3. Then almost 30 seconds later, Bergeron fired a shot through a screen, tying the game at 4. The Bruins had done the unthinkable, but they weren’t done yet, and neither was Bergeron.

At 6:05 of the first overtime period, a scrambled ensued in front of the Leafs’ net, and the puck came loose, it was none other than Patrice Bergeron scoring the game-winner for Boston, completing one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history.

This has remained an iconic goal ever since, and while I am not a huge fan of Jack Edwards, you can’t deny his call on the goal is perfect. (all stats: hockeyreference.com).

No Leafs fan wants to be reminded of this game, but it will live on forever as one of Patrice Bergeron’s career-defining moments.

20 Best Players Without No-Trade Clauses. dark. Next

Patrice Bergeron will live on as the best defensive forward of his generation, and potentially of all time. He has had a legendary career and will be in the Hall of Fame the first chance he gets.

Thanks, Patrice for 19 amazing years, all the best.