It took Boston Bruins top-line centre Patrice Bergeron two games and 10 minutes to score his first goal in the Stanley Cup Final but, for Don Cherry, he’s the real MVP.
Bergeron finally scored against the St. Louis Blues in a three-goal opening period for the Bruins, tipping-in a shot by Torey Krug in what was Boston’s 20th power-play goal of the post-season.
“He’s MVP of the playoffs as far as I’m concerned,” Cherry said during Saturday’s ‘Coach’s Corner’ segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “He doesn’t have to get points. He gets the draws towards the goal … he’s their leader.”
The goal was also Bergeron’s first point of the Final, sparking a Perfection Line that had been somewhat dormant so far in the Final.
The 33-year-old has a 59.1 faceoff win percentage in the playoffs, an effort that made an immediate difference in Game 3 as one of the Bruins’ three first-period goals was scored off a draw won by the veteran centreman in the offensive end.
Cherry also highlighted the performance of Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who got bombarded in the opening minutes of the game as the Blues started 5-0 in the shot count, but didn’t give up a goal until 11:05 of the second period.
“Rask is the guy that held them in there with 5-0 on the shot [count],” he said. “Of course, he’s the goalie, he’s gotta do it. He is hot as a firecracker, he’s been this way through the whole playoffs.”
Rask entered Game 3 with four-straight road wins and a .939 save percentage in the playoffs.