By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Tyler Seguin certainly experiencedsome extreme ups and downs in his first NHL playoff experience, but theres one thing that almost everyone can agree on: There probably should have been a lot more Seguin in Saturday night's 5-2 loss to the Lightning.The 19-year-old wunderkind scored the Bruins' first goal and finished as their only multipoint performer in their 5-2 loss at TD Garden. He clocked in at just under a measly 10 minutes of ice time, but his contributions were titanic.Well, we had a lot of penalty kills and power plays and right now Im not in that loop," said Seguin about his limited ice time. "So I was just trying to stay ready on the bench and try to motivate that guys and in my next shift just be ready."
He had a good game. I thought when he had his chance, he took advantage of it and scored, said coach Claude Julien. Obviously he had a lot of energy tonight and excitement in his game, so he was a good player for us.
The energy was certainly the thing for the No. 2 overall pick after hed waited more than a month to get back into the lineup. He watched the first two rounds of this years postseason from the press box, and was raring to go.
His goal blunted some of Tampa Bay's momentum after the Bolts had jumped out to a 3-0 lead. He took a pass from Michael Ryder and went crossing over the blue line with some speed. Seguin turned on the jets in the offensive zone to split Marc-Andre Bergeron and Mike Lundin, while leaving a spinning, out-of-control Lundin behind him in the slot area while he cut back against the grain for a one-on-one attempt. After dusting the Tampa Bay defense, Seguin beat Dwayne Roloson with a lower right corner shot that capped off a highlight reel offensive play."The goal was definitely a bit of a relief. I think coming in the first period, I was definitely very excited, said Seguin. I found myself running around just a little bit just because I had so much legs I guess. After I had that goal, it was a bit of a sigh of relief and I could be more poised out there.The goal stopped the bleeding and put the Bruins back in the game, somewhat, at 3-1, but they never totally erased the deficit in a game that featured too many mistakes."Yeah, its frustrating, But its a lot better than being up in the stands where you cant contribute at all," said Seguin. "At least there I could be out with the boys and motivating everyone. Everyone was trying to keep their heads high that point. We were running into a lot of PKs and a lot of power plays and trying to get one there before the end of the second. But it didnt work out."Amazingly, Seguin still managed only two shifts and 1:51 of ice time in the second period, as Julien and the other coaches apparently decided that hisoffensive skill, speed and passablegrit were not needed ingredients. The skills and his newfound willingness to aggressively pursue his shot are exactly the kind of things that are woefully missing from Boston's power play, but Julien said "no comment" when asked about Seguin and the 0-for-4PP following the game.The 19-year-old also admitted he wasnt always the most attentive player to detail in his personal life during the course of the season, but he certainly appears to be locked in for the playoffs. Thats why Julien after some healthy second-guessing by the Bruins fans courtesy of the Versus telecast finally inserted Seguin for a regular shiftalong with Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand during the final 20 minutes.
Seguin responded again to his coachs show in confidence by blasting Lundin with a heavy hit along the boards later on in the game, and assisting on Johnny Boychuks third-period strike that took a fortuitous bounce off a Tampa defensemans skate.Seguin could be the guy in danger of hitting the bench once Patrice Bergeron returns to the fold, but that really didn't seem like it should be the case given the way his speed and skill can help against a Lightning team brimming with both qualities.
The Bruins were spanked commandingly in the faceoff circle throughout the game. David Krejci lost 15 out of 18 faceoff draws Saturday night, and the team won only 26 of 47 in a one-sided beating on the dot.Its so important to start with the puck," said Julien. "When you dont win as many draws as youre used to, youre backpedaling a little bit and those lost draws, and we know how quickly they counter. It certainly didnt help our game tonight.SeveralBruins players that spoke with CSNNE.com afterGame One indicated they thought Patrice Bergeron might be ready to play as early as Game Two on Tuesday night given how well he's progressing from his "mild concussion." No definites given his chance to suffer a setback in the next two days, but it appears the center'sreturn will be sooner rather than later. Bergeron was missed greatly in all three zones during the first game against Tampa Bay.
Stat holds true to form after Game 1 of the series: Bruins are 6-0 when they score first this postseason and the Lightning are an impressive 8-0 when they score first. That means the Bolts are 1-3 in four games during these playoffs when they dont get on the board first.
Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson becomes the first goalie to win eight straight playoff games since Hall of Fame goalie Jacques Plante in 1969.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher has continuously heaped praise on Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas throughout the series, and the Tampa head stayed consistent by lionizing Thomas. It didnt matter that the Bs netminder had allowed three goals in the span of 85 seconds, including a soft backhanded bid to Brett Clark for the Bolts second goal, in the first period.Tim Thomas is going to make miracles, said Boucher. I would be shocked if he doesnt come back with his best game of the playoffs. They came back in the first series, from two games. Its only one game, weve done nothing yet.
Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves with Derek Boogaard on multiple occasions throughout his career and Shane Hnidy was a teammate of the New York Rangers enforcer, who was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment on Friday morning. Hnidy said that the death was hitting him hard, and it was clear he had a lot of respect for the 6-foot-8, 28-year-old Boogie Man.
The hockey community is so tight that its always felt in the players, coaches and even the media when something like this happens, said Hnidy. But its tough when it happens to a teammate, or somebody that youve played with. It hit me pretty hard last night.
TD Garden officials observed a moment of silence for Boogaard prior to the game in a very nice show of respect for the late Rangers tough guy.
Julien said Marc Savard is scheduled to come down from Peterborough, Ontario to Boston during the series.
"Im not quite sure exactly what day or which game, but hes supposed to come down, said Julien. No doubt hes a part of our hockey club. Hes always welcome here anytime he wants to come down. Id be happy to see him if thats the case.