Bergeron Explains Why He Doesn't Regret Playing The Final Game Of The Year

Austin Sabourin
August 30, 2023  (9:49)

Patrice Bergeron had an inkling last summer that the 2022-23 season might mark the end of his storied career. Over the course of 81 games, it wasn't just a memorable finale but one that etched its mark in history, as the Bruins smashed NHL records for wins and points.

However, the narrative didn't conclude quite as Bergeron and the Bruins had envisioned. A herniated disk during the last regular-season match in Montreal sidelined Bergeron, causing him to miss four playoff games. Ultimately, the Bruins fell to the Florida Panthers in a hard-fought seven-game series during the opening round.
During a recent appearance on The Greg Hill Show as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance, Bergeron was posed with the question of whether he would make the same choice to play in that decisive game against the Canadiens if given a do-over.
"Absolutely, I would," Bergeron replied. "Primarily, there's this notion that I played that match because it was Montreal. Be it against Philly or any other team, the plan was for the whole roster to be on the ice. Coach Montgomery had that strategy all along. I had taken four games off before that to recover physically. It wasn't tied to a single injury. I was in good health. Hindsight is always clearer. Looking back, naturally, you wouldn't play that game if you knew what was coming.

"It's easy to dissect things after the fact, but at that instant, I was fit. As a team, it's important to have the complete roster on the ice to gear up for the playoffs. That's what unfolded. It's unfortunate, but there was nothing different I could've done then. There were no warning signs before the game that would have hinted at an injury."

Bergeron admitted that the Bruins' stunning exit in the opening round gave him pause regarding his decision to retire, as it wasn't the ideal conclusion he had envisioned. However, he was certain that he had made the right choice all along.
"Throughout the season, several factors were nudging me toward that conclusion," Bergeron reflected. "Yet, finishing the regular season with the best record ever, you have high hopes for the playoffs. Obviously, the ending was bitterly disappointing for everyone, particularly for us players who had to navigate through it all.

"So, for a while, I did have some doubts and second thoughts. However, there were just too many signs and indicators. Health, naturally, takes precedence, given the toll of games and years I've played. Sadly, it all culminated in the right decision for me and my family, which was to call it a day. Of course, I'd love to keep playing indefinitely. It's a lifelong passion, and I'll miss it. But, simultaneously, I find solace in my choice. I'm convinced it's the right decision for me."

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Bergeron Explains Why He Doesn't Regret Playing The Final Game Of The Year

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