Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron is on the Last Men In ballot for the 2020 NHL All-Star team. The Last Men In process allows fans to vote for one player in each division to be added to the All-Star rosters. One player from each team is represented on the Last Men In ballot. Fans have until Jan. 10 to cast their votes.
Why Bruins Fans Shouldn’t Vote for Bergeron
As a fan, it’s always exciting to watch your favourite players represent your favourite team in the All-Star Game. In the case of Patrice Bergeron, it simply isn’t worth it. Bergeron has been dealing with a chronic groin injury since last year’s playoffs. It has caused him to miss time already this season. With nine games missed this season it seems obvious that rest is more important than heading to St. Louis for the All-Star Game.
Even if the game itself isn’t very physically taxing it still consumes energy from Bergeron. The Bruins have nine days off during the All-Star break and each one is precious for Bergeron and his teammates. The Bruins went as far as possible in last years postseason and have nothing to show for it — adding pressure to this year’s team.
If voted in, Bergeron would likely have to travel to St. Louis on Jan. 23 to participate in the skills competition the next day. He would then play in the All-Star Game on Jan. 25 and travel back to Boston on Jan. 26, at the earliest. This would give Bergeron one day of rest before leaving for St. Louis and four days of rest when he returned. While five days of rest would be helpful, it seems much more beneficial for Bergeron to get the full nine days off he rightfully deserves. Especially with the Bruins struggling to play at a high level as of late and their lead in the Atlantic Division shrinking.
It’s Not An Easy Decision
While rest for Bergeron seems like the smart thing to do, his play this season gives him a strong case for an All-Star nomination. Bergeron has 18 goals with 19 assists for 37 points on the season while also having a +13 plus/minus rating. Bergeron’s Atlantic Division opponents in the voting are Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Larkin, Aleksander Barkov, Max Domi, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Steven Stamkos, and Mitchell Marner.
Barkov, Stamkos and Marner have more points than Bergeron but all three have a lower plus/minus rating than Bergeron. Despite being top-four in points, Bergeron and Marner have played the fewest games (35 and 34 respectively) among the Atlantic Division nominees.
If selected, Bergeron would join teammates David Pastrnak (captain) and Tuukka Rask on the Atlantic Division All-Star team. Patrice Bergeron is a two-time All-Star (2015 and 2016) and a five-time Selke Award winner. His resume and place in hockey history speaks for itself and his play this season warrants strong consideration for the last spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star team.
Bruins fans should prioritize health over All-Star nominations. While seeing Bergeron appear in his third All-Star Game would be exciting for Bruins fans, it probably isn’t worth the risk. His importance to the Bruins is far greater than his importance to a meaningless All-Star Game. The best-case scenario if Bergeron gets voted in would give Bruins fans something to smile about. The worst-case scenario would be Bergeron gets hurt during his appearance and the Bruins are without him for an extended period of time.
Bruins fans should think about the totality of the season and what’s at stake with an aging core group. Enjoy watching the much-younger Pastrnak and much more-rested Rask represent your team knowing that Bergeron is home getting the physical and mental rest he needs to recharge and get the Bruins ready for the stretch run.