The signing that brought defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron to Tampa raised a few eyebrows across the hockey world. He was a journeyman player, having played for six clubs in just under ten years. He had also recently undergone knee construction before signing with the Lightning. Luckily for us, Steve Yzerman saw something that few others in the league did.
The biggest concern with Bergeron has definitely been his health. He is now over a year past his surgery and his play through the new season has more than silenced those doubts. He is tied for the team lead in points with 16. The guy he’s tied with? Only Steven Stamkos. He is also tied for the league lead in points by a defenseman.
Bergeron is also wielding a laser like slap shot must like the one that scored the Lightning’s first goal on the power play Thursday night. It’s so blistering that it was clocked at 104 mph during a Canadiens team skills competition a few years ago. That’s strong enough to win 15 of the last 18 hardest shot competitions at the NHL All Star game. Watch out, Chara. We might have a new contender. (Info Source: St. Petersburg Times)
It might be the smaller stature or the fact that Marc-Andre has such a scoring touch, but he is starting to remind me of a former Bolt defenseman who is now in San Jose. The Lightning haven’t had a d-man with the ability to light the lamp so frequently since Dan Boyle. It’s very encouraging to see.
Steve Yzerman & Guy Boucher’s Lightning are kind of like the Island of Misfit Hockey Players. They seem to have a knack for bringing the best out of players that other teams have overlooked or pigeonholed. Tampa has tapped into their skill and convinced them to buy into the system. These guys might not be the biggest names in the game, but they are willing to work hard. Hockey is flourishing in Tampa because of it.
I’m serious in wanting to see Bergie in a hardest shot contest, too. Should we start an All Star Voting Write In Campaign a la Vote For Rory?