Across the National Hockey League, the Bruins are perceived among the half-dozen (or more) teams with the best shots at winning the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins are typically (and rightly) seen as a solid, system-driven team that works hard and has a foundation in sound team defense and goaltending. But just imagine how dramatically those perceptions could be altered if one factor unfolds the way many around the league believe it will.

Tyler Seguin becomes a star.

If, at age 19, Seguin can emulate the career path of Tampa Bay's Steve Stamkos, the entire image of the Bruins changes. Undervalued by brief Lightning coach Barry Melrose in the first half of his rookie year, Stamkos got better and better in the latter stages of that season — sound familiar? — and exploded into a 51-goal scorer his second year.