Why Patrice Bergeron's offensive consistency deserves real recognition

Bergeron's offensive consistency deserves recognition after latest milestone originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It's time to give Patrice Bergeron's offensive prowess the recognition it deserves.

There's no debate that the Boston Bruins center is an elite two-way forward and perhaps the best the NHL has ever seen in that regard. His defensive abilities are world class. He's won the Selke Trophy a record five times and is the favorite to win it again this season.

One underrated aspect of Bergeron's skill set is his goal scoring.

He reached the 20-goal mark in Saturday's 6-2 win over the New York Islanders at TD Garden. While 20 goals isn't a ton, it's the consistency that really stands out. It marked the 10th consecutive season Bergeron has scored 20 or more goals.

If not for the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, the Bruins captain's streak probably would stand at 13 straight years with 20-plus goals.

Overall, Bergeron has reached the 20-goal mark 14 times in his career -- the second-most of any Bruins player. Even at age 37, Bergeron remains a dynamic offensive player with 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) in 56 games.

If you dive deeper into some of the advanced stats, the picture looks even better for Bergeron.

Bergeron's goals-for percentage of 73.81 ranks No. 2 in the league, per Natural Stat Trick. Boston has outscored opponents 31-21 when he's on the ice during 5-on-5 action. Bergeron leads the league with a 63.57 scoring chances-for percentage at 5-on-5. The B's are a plus-178 in scoring chances at 5-on-5 with Bergeron on the ice.

"He's the model of consistency, the way he plays on both sides of the puck. He gets it done offensively. He gets it done even more defensively," Bruins forward Nick Foligno said of Bergeron after Saturday's victory. "He's a guy that I've admired a long time, and all of us do. Just the way he plays the game. He plays the game the right way. I think that's one of the best compliments you can give a player, and he does that.

"He scored a pretty one, too, to get his 20th. That was a sick goal today. But it's no surprise. He just does things the right way. He's a guy that cares a lot about his craft, too, and there's a reason why there's so many goals in so many years. I don't think he's slowing down any time soon."

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Bergeron's 20th goal of the season put him in some pretty impressive company among the league's top goal scorers of his era. He's one of just five active players with 14 or more 20-goal seasons. All five of these guys will be in the Hall of Fame someday.

  1. Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals: 18 seasons of 20-plus goals

  2. Sidney Crosby, Penguins: 15

  3. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks: 14

  4. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins: 14

  5. Patrice Bergeron, Bruins: 14

Bergeron enjoyed hitting the milestone over the weekend, but his eyes are on far more lofty goals with this special group of Bruins players.

"It's nice," Bergeron told reporters after beating the Islanders. "It's one of those things where I'm glad it went in, but that being said, you kind of move on to the next one. Playing with some great players. And, obviously, it's been a special year in a lot of ways. Just thankful to be a part of it."