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Patrice Bergeron was already one of the most respected players before the 2013 NHL playoffs because of his leadership, brilliant two-way game and the hard work he put in to recover from multiple concussions earlier in his career.
But after playing through most of the Stanley Cup Final with significant injuries, the Boston Bruins center earned a new level of respect from those in the hockey community. The 28-year-old played Game 6 with a punctured lung, a separated shoulder and a broken rib. Despite all of those ailments, Bergeron played 17:45 of ice time.
"You can’t say enough about [Bergeron]. He’s an inspiration. He’s a man amongst boys, as far as the toughness goes," said Bruins forward Shawn Thornton after Game 6. "I think what he played through, I’m not sure how many guys could play through that, so it was pretty impressive. That's for sure."
As a player who does anything it takes to win, whether it's score goals, play Selke Trophy-caliber defense or play through injuries, Bergeron is one of the most respected players in the NHL.