Bergeron a good fit for Wild, Lemaire

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

Marc-Andre Bergeron's biggest critic has always been himself.

The Minnesota Wild defenceman has rarely been knocked for a lack of effort, but at times he is criticized for not getting the most out of his talent.

That was the case when the five-foot-nine, 198-pound native of Trois-Rivieres, Que., played with the Edmonton Oilers and that's the case now with the Wild.

"He's been very good," said Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire. "Every player has their ups and downs. They are never always satisfied with what they're doing, but overall we've been very pleased with him.

"He's been really good on the power play, he's got a great shot and we need him."

In 37 games with the Wild this season, heading into last night against the Oilers, Bergeron, 28, has five goals and 13 assists. He had 19 points in 55 games last season with the New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks.

"He always tries hard," Lemaire said. "And I think he feels good with us. We gave him a chance. The thing is that you have to stay close on him to keep him up there. If you see him dropping a bit, you have to pick him up. You have to be alert with that."

Bergeron, a former CHL defenceman of the year, played with the Oilers for three seasons before being traded to the Islanders for Denis Grebeshkov.

He was later flipped to the Ducks before ending up in Minnesota this season.

"He's been very, very receptive to anything we tell him," Lemaire said. "The thing that's hard to work with as a coach is when he gets down on himself. When it's in his head, it gets a little harder.

"I'm not a psychologist, although sometimes I have to pretend to be one."


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