To appreciate all that Patrice Bergeron does you have to watch him — and only him — for an entire shift. Observe the constant motion, the abrupt changes of direction, the head swiveling like a hawk's, tracking the puck and his teammates, the instinctive sense of time and space.

"He's just everywhere,'' marvels rookie winger Brad Marchand, his linemate. "He's doing every little thing right. He does a lot of things that are underestimated. He plays so well defensively. He's always the first guy back in the zone, always down low battling, getting the puck up to me and Recchs [Mark Recchi] so we can go on offense. He's really leading our team right now, taking control of everything and showing the guys the way.''

Bergeron may be only 25 but for the past eight years, minus the lockout season of 2004-05 and the 2007-08 campaign that was lost to a nasty concussion, he has been the mucilage that has held the Bruins' fuselage together. "There's not a night that this guy doesn't show up,'' says coach Claude Julien. "His solid play certainly gives not just the coaches but all of his teammates a lot of confidence. You have him out there on the ice, you know what you're going to get.''