Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron is the player of the decade

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 29: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) eyes the opposition during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres on December 29, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 29: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) eyes the opposition during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres on December 29, 2019, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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BUFFALO, NY – DECEMBER 27: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his first period goal against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on December 27, 2019 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images) /

What’s next for Bergeron and the Bruins?

Fortunately, even with his decade of dominance, Bergeron isn’t quite done yet with the Bruins. At 34 years old, you have to imagine he has enough left in the tank for a few more elite seasons.

One thing that definitely helps Bergeron as he moves forward is his current linemates. He partners with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on Boston’s top line.

Bergeron found the fountain of youth on this line. With Marchand and Pastrnak on his wings, he’s better now than he was at the beginning of the decade…especially when you consider his offensive production.

Last season, Bergeron finished with 79 points in 65 games played. This year, he has 35 points in 31 games. He never averaged a point-per-game before, but now Bergeron’s set to do it two years in a row.

Plays like this are the reason for Bergeron’s increased production. He makes a great defensive play to win the puck, and then Marchand and Pastrnak take it from there.

https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/1211479519023861760

Bergeron also produces more on the power play now that he occupies that bumper position. He has at least eight power play goals every year since 2016-2017; his previous career high was seven.

Don’t let his offensive numbers get in the way of Bergeron’s all-around game. He still as defensively-sound as ever; he now has the linemates to finish his plays.

Bergeron’s offensive production should continue over the next couple years. The only thing that can get in the way in injuries.

After he dealt with injuries over the past two seasons, Bergeron again missed time earlier this year. When you play such a physical game and never take shifts off, injuries are bound to happen.

The Bruins acknowledge this with Bergeron, so coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t afraid to take things slow with Bergeron. That’s definitely the best course of action because Bergeron remains so important to Boston’s success.

When we look back on certain eras in Boston Bruins history, we always define them by players. From Eddie Shore to Milt Schmidt to Bobby Orr to Ray Bourque, these Bruins legends stand tall in team history.

When we look back as this past era, we’ll define it as the Patrice Bergeron era. His future hangs in the rafters and in the Hall of Fame, but for now, he’s the player of the decade.