Ahh, Sean Bergenheim. Why do we love you so? The player dubbed "Eisberg" by the community here at Raw Charge played only one season for the Lightning. The 5'10, 205 lb. Finn came to the NHL with the Islanders and made little noise before signing with the Lightning prior to the 2010-2011 season. And wow! what an up-and-down season that was.
The team, rebuilding under new GM Steve Yzerman, was supposed to be pretty bad. The goaltending was sure bad, but the team actually played really well. Mike Smith and Dan Ellis weren't getting the job done in the net, so Yzerman acquired Dwayne Roloson from the Islanders, picked up Eric Brewer to solidify the back end, and the Lightning were back in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
And what was Sean Bergenheim's contribution to making the playoffs? During the season he had been a quiet, solid contributor, scoring 14 goals and 29 points in 80 games. But oh, what a post-season he would have.
Often playing on a third line with center Dominic Moore and Steve Downie, Sean found his scoring touch, potting 9 goals in 16 playoff games. He scored the series winner in the 1-0 win over Pittsburgh in the first round, and continued rolling with key goals against Washington and the eventual champion Boston Bruins.
Moore and Bergenheim captured the hearts of Lightning fans with some snappy pass and shoot plays, with Moore skating behind the opposing net and sending a no-looky pass back to an unguarded Bergenheim to score. Witness the awesome:
Sad to say, that post-season would be the last we would see of Bergenheim wearing a Lightning sweater. An unrestricted free agent after the season, Sean cashed in on his playoff heroics and score the big money dollars, signing a four year, $11 million contract with the Florida Panthers. No offence, but that seemed dumb to me, because if you're going to prove that you're awesome in the playoffs, wouldn't it make sense to go to a team that sometimes makes the playoffs? Just kidding. The Panthers shocked the hockey world by actually spending some money, getting a few real NHL players, and making the playoffs in 2012. And yes, Bergenheim played well, scoring three goals and six points in the Panthers seven games series loss to the New Jersey Devils.
File under: Lightning fans trolling the Panthers.
Nolan Whyte is a jerk, but his novel Among the Humans is pretty good. Read it, then tell others they should read it too. That's how word of mouth works, my friends.