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Screen Shots: Patrice Bergeron, Cal Clutterbuck and Tournament Monitors

Adam Proteau analyzes Patrice Bergeron's 1,000th point, Cal Clutterbuck having the most hits in NHL history and tournament monitors in Prince Edward Island.
Boston Bruins

Welcome – you’re currently reading Screen Shots, a regular THN.com feature in which we look at a few different hockey topics, and analyze them in smaller columns. Simple, right? Right. Onward we go:

– Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron reached the 1,000-point plateau in Boston’s 5-3 win over Tampa Bay Monday night. Bergeron is usually lauded for his defensive skills – and rightly so – but he’s only the fourth Bruins player in the 98-year history of the Original Six franchise to get to that level of career offense for the team. The 37-year-old is a perennial Selke Trophy candidate as the NHL’s top defensive forward, but when you look closely at his career numbers, you see how consistently terrific he is in the offensive zone. Since the 2008-09 season, Bergeron has had fewer than 50 points just twice, and both times, he appeared in only 54 games or fewer. His style of play doesn’t lead to Art Ross Trophies as the game’s single-season leading point-getter, but he’s reliable and safe with the puck. He’s a coach’s dream in that regard.

Bergeron’s achievement is the first of more milestones for Boston this year: veteran center David Krejci is 22 games away from 1,000 career regular season games, star left winger Brad Marchand is 15 games away from 900 career games played and winger Taylor Hall is 20 games away from the 800 mark and 30 points away from the 700-point plateau. Obviously, Boston’s tremendous team success is most important to all involved with the organization, but Bergeron’s milestone is the latest sign that a successful season – meaning, a deep Stanley Cup playoff run – is crucial to this aging group. Their window to win is shrinking rapidly, but they appear to be aware of that, and they’re doing a heck of a job putting their collective nose to the grindstone and putting opponents on notice that they’re still a force to reckon with.

– New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck is now the NHL's all-time leader in hits, passing recently-retired L.A. Kings forward Dustin Brown with his 3,633rd hit in 951 career regular season games – and it took Clutterbuck 345 fewer regular season games to do so. All that physicality has taken a toll on the 35-year-old – he’s never appeared in more than 78 games in a single season, and that was in his rookie year of 2008-09 – but he’s still an effective player for the Isles, and he makes opponents pay a physical price to gain an advantage on the ice.

Clutterbuck’s teammate, rugged winger Matt Martin, is a couple of years younger, and he’s only 139 hits behind Clutterbuck, so there may be a new hit king crowned in the next few seasons. But for now, Clutterbuck deserves some praise for being such a prominent physical force and finding a way to continue playing despite the notable cost of his style.

– Finally, it was heartening to see the news that an upcoming youth hockey tournament in Prince Edward Island will have volunteer monitors tasked with ensuring there’s a respectful, inclusive environment for games. 

The Sherwood Parkdale Early Bird tournament’s organizer told CBC.ca the concept came from soccer, which long has had monitors in the stands to keep a proper level of respect from everyone. And, considering the abhorrent behavior at this tournament in November of last season – when five players were suspended 25 games each for uttering racist slurs at a black player – as well as a brawl at this year's tournament on Saturday between Under-18 players that reportedly had spectators go on the ice, the decision to bring in monitors is completely understandable.

People involved with the game – players, coaches, parents, and fans – have to understand there will be zero tolerance for bigoted actions in this sport, regardless of the level that’s being played. It’s undoubtedly the proper move for tournament organizers to use monitors to enforce that message. And if they don’t want to behave properly, they can be publicly identified and properly punished. This is what progress looks like.

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