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Bergeron expects to draw Crosby matchup

May 29, 2013, 12:36 PM EDT

BergeronCrosby

As one of the NHL’s  best defensive forwards, Patrice Bergeron knows what his likely assignment will be for the Eastern Conference finals:

Matching up with Sidney Crosby.

“I expect to play against him,” Bergeron told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You play this game to play against the best.

“This is going to be a great challenge.”

The reigning Selke winner and a nominee this season, Bergeron has made a living doing battle with opposing centers.

He’s one of the league’s premier faceoff men (currently leading the playoffs at 63.5 percent) and has earned Crosby’s respect from their numerous head-to-head matchups.

“Nothing is easy against him,” Crosby said.

Here’s more, from the Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe:

Bergeron and Crosby have met 18 times. Crosby has recorded 27 points in those meetings, giving him an average of 1.5 in games against Bergeron.

His career average is 1.42 points per game, which is fourth-highest in NHL history. Despite numbers that suggest Bergeron’s presence doesn’t hinder him, Crosby knows better.

Even though Bergeron figures he’ll draw the Crosby assignment, he won’t be alone in trying to shut down No. 87.

At practice on Wednesday, the Bruins split up defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in an attempt to find pairings to match up against Pittsburgh’s top two lines.

  1. pepper2011 - May 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    “Bergeron and Crosby have met 18 times. Crosby has recorded 27 points in those meetings, giving him an average of 1.5 in games against Bergeron.”

    is one of the most misleading stats I have seen. Over the past two seasons Sid has played against the B’s 4 games. He has four points (3g 1a) 2g and 1a came in one came which Sid was -1. He had 3 minutes in PP time.

    Bergeron is +1 in those four games.

    Sid is averaging 1.5pts a game vs. the Bruins would be more accurate.

    to me it seems as if; at least for the last two years Bergeron has more than done his job. If you are + anything playing against Sid, Malkin and Co. you are probably doing your job at a high level. B’s have one of the best penalty kills in the league, not gonna to hold Bergeron accountable for “letting” sid and that offense score on the PP.

    ladies and gentlemen if you don’t appreciate Bergeron now; you will after this series. I expect to see Seguin back on that line too, Jagr is too much of a speed/defense liability against that line.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 29, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Is this the same Seguin that Claude has deemed a defensive liability several times over his young career? Is he also the same Seguin that Claude only allowed him to play center for 1.5 games because of his defense when the team was down centers?

      • pepper2011 - May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        Seguin’s D is vastly improved and I don’t think Claude has deemed him a defensive liability. I mean he is not Bergeron or Kesler but he was a +34 and +23 the last two seasons. There are not many 18 year olds that come into the league and play a regular role at center. He is still developing and simply wasn’t strong enough to play center yet. The B’s have had the good fortune of not needing to play him at center because of their depth. Seguins problems are his corner battles; he isn’t very strong on the puck, plus playing him on wing allows him more freedom offensively. You can hide teenage mistakes at wing; not so much at center.

    • jpelle82 - May 29, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      special teams will make the difference. penguins with the best pp in hockey right now 28% and second best on the penalty kill 89%. bruins are only 21% on the pp and 81% on the pk. i honestly think they will be pretty even 5 on 5 throughout the series, i believe chara/bergeron are that good and will make a difference and the bruins 4th line will be a factor – probably the best 4th line in hockey. bruins stay out of the box and if their rookie defenders can play beyond their years then the bruins will keep it interesting.

    • jpelle82 - May 29, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      i dont get what is so misleading about it. crosby plays above his career average when playing against boston – pretty clear cut. you didnt like what the stats said so you took a smaller portion of those stats to better your argument…i see what you did there. take the last 2 years where crosby has only averaged 1 ppg and only played 4 of the 6 possible games due to injury and it somehow makes your case? a ppg is still above average though.

      it really just shows that if you take those 4 games away from the past 2 years when crosby was hurt a lot and its only get worse for bergeron and the bruins 23 points in 14 games = 1.64 ppg. see what i did there?

      • tdrusher225 - May 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        It’s misleading in the context of Bergeron vs. Crosby. If Crosby is getting a large portion of those points on the power play or when Bergeron is not on the ice then it is misleading to say “Crosby has 1.5 PPG against Bergeron”. If you were just saying “against Boston” then that would make more sense.

      • pepper2011 - May 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        Actually it doesn’t change anything. If you have reading comprehension I said it would be better to say he did it against the Bruins. my argument was that he (Bergeron)wasn’t primarily going against Sid. to say Sid is averaging 1.5 pts a game against Bergeron is misleading. I only took the last two years cause I didn’t have time to research it further.

        Don’t get your panties in a bunch I wasn’t damning Sid. I don’t like him, but I respect his ability.

        The article intimated that Crosby had owned Bergeron. I don’t think he has. He has owned the Bruins. that was my point.

      • pepper2011 - May 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        ding ding ding…. tdrusher for the win!

        assuming Jpelle is a Pens fan this team and their fan base is so easy to dislike.

      • jpelle82 - May 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        notice i didnt say anything about bergeron, he is one of my favorite players by the way. i dont think the combination of him and chara will impede crosby too much based on his history against the them, and rask isnt too stellar right now either compared to the rest of the goalies in the playoffs. 2.5 and .925 isnt bad but crosby and friends have dismantled better goalies so far, including the #1 penalty killing sens and anderson.

    • spynnal - May 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      The Tribune review article this one references puts those stats in a better light. It also follows up the presentation of the stats with a quote by Crosby saying Bergeron is right up there with Datsyuk and Zetterberg as one of the best two way forwards in the league, and how difficult he is to play against.

      Great matchup between these two players and teams overall. Can’t wait. Go Pens!

  2. pdmjr - May 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    It won’ matter, Malkin will kill the Bruins. They haven’t faced him, and he is playing well. Pittsburg in a sweep

  3. pastabelly - May 29, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Don’t mind going to battle with Bergeron and Krejci against anyone. Bergeron’s +/- is as good as anyone’s and he goes up against the best.

    I like splitting up Chara and Seidenberg. It’s a good move, especially on the road.

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