Scoring 30 goals in a season in the Claude Julien era hasn’t been easy. In fact, just four players have done it — two this season, Patrice Bergeron and Jarome Iginla.
The only others to have topped 30 in Julien’s tenure have been Phil Kessel (36, 2008-09) and Milan Lucic (30, 2010-11).
With Bergeron netting his 30th Saturday, he joined Iginla as the first multiple 30-goal scorers the Bruins have had since Glen Murray (44), Joe Thornton (36), and Mike Knuble (30) in 2002-03.
“We’re very proud of what he’s accomplished this year,” Julien said of Bergeron. “Thirty goals is quite a feat, and for a guy who excels at both ends of the ice, even more so. It takes a heck of a player to be able to score 30 and be so reliable defensively. That’s an incredible player in my mind.”
Bergeron scored on a one-timer from the right circle at 11:43 of the second period. He played the whole period, but did not return to the game for the third. After the game, Julien termed the issue “very minor.” Bergeron missed Thursday night’s game with another undisclosed minor injury, and it appears the Bruins are simply erring on the side of caution.
For Julien, it wasn’t just what he’s seen with Bergeron on his team this season. He saw the same with Team Canada in Sochi, Russia, for the Olympics, adding, “Probably one of his better years so far.”
It was, in fact, after that that Bergeron took off after starting relatively slowly this season. He has 11 goals and six assists for 17 points in the last 13 games he has played.
“Before the break he didn’t look like he was going to crack 30, but after [the] Olympics, he came back just like a different player and he’s been playing extremely well,” David Krejci said. “It’s good to have two guys in 30, so hopefully he can stay hot throughout the playoffs.”
Brad Marchand echoed that sentiment, “He didn’t have a great start, either. The fact that he still hit 30, it just shows how good of a player he really is, especially with how hard he works defensively.
“He just seemed like he went there [to Sochi] and just found another gear and came back and continued to play the same way. He’s been red hot ever since he got back.”
But Bergeron didn’t appear to be concerned about getting to the milestone, which he has reached once before, scoring 31 goals in 2005-06.
Julien said, “He didn’t care at one point whether he got 30 or not. His words to me were the big picture is what I’m worried about right now.”
Daniel Paille left the game at 7:17 of the third period, helped off the ice after a hit by Jake McCabe left him wobbly. McCabe received a five-minute interference penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct for the hit, which knocked Paille off his feet.
It appeared Paille might have hit his head on the ice after falling. The fourth-line winger already has had two concussions this season.
“I haven’t seen a replay of it,” McCabe said. “My intentions were shoulder to the chest. I don’t think I raised my elbow at all.”
He added, “I don’t think it was too late. You try to go through me . . . I kept my hands down. Kind of just an unfortunate play, I think his head was down. So yeah, it’s too bad.”
“It’s just sad,” Krejci said. “This time of the year, in the third period, that’s just sad. We need a guy like that. He’s been a big part of the team. Hopefully he’ll come back soon.”
Torey Krug landed awkwardly on the right leg of Matt Hackett with 11:35 to go in the third period. The Buffalo goaltender had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, replaced by Connor Knapp. “I haven’t had a chance to watch it back,” Krug said. “Honestly, I don’t even know what happened. I just felt like my feet got kicked out from under me and I landed on his leg. For a second I thought he was OK, and then he started screaming. So I feel bad. It’s just a tough play.” . . . The Bruins plan to rest some players in New Jersey Sunday. Julien said there will be call-ups from Providence . . . Marchand won the Eddie Shore Award (hustle and determination), Krejci won the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy (outstanding performance during home games), and Tuukka Rask won the John P. Bucyk Award (off-ice charitable contributions). The three stars, as chosen by 98.5 The Sports Hub, were Rask (first star), Krejci (second star), and Bergeron (third star) . . . The Bruins finished the season without a three-game losing streak. The last time that happened was in 1977-78, though they had three three-game winless streaks that season. The last time the Bruins didn’t go more than two straight without a win was 1939-40.Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.