Bruins

Notes: Seguin likely to be scratched to start playoffs

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Notes: Seguin likely to be scratched to start playoffs

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Tyler Seguin certainly received the message over the last week when he watched Daniel Paille elevate his game, and began hearing the Bruins coaches and executives singing the praises of Michael Ryders undeniable postseason track record.

Seguin played in the final two games of the regular season against the Senators and Devils, but is pretty much assured to begin his first NHL postseason as a healthy scratch. That was cinched on Monday afternoon when general manager Peter Chiarelli held a conference call and said he hopes theres significant growth both on and off the ice from the 19-year-old hockey prodigy between this season and next year.

Seguin finished the year with 11 goals and 11 assists and played some meaningful minutes both five-on-five and on the power play down the stretch this season.

But there are still lingering questions within the organization about his ability and willingness to truly battle in the muck-and-grind Stanley Cup playoffs at such a young age.

Seguin is on the right track, and the betting here is that hell get his shot. But it doesnt like that is going to take place on Thursday night.

Im relatively satisfied with Seguins development. You have to put it in the context of his age and put it in the context of that hes an individual who has seen that he has to grow in certain areas on and off the ice, said Chiarelli. Hes a real good kid. My guess is that he wont start in the lineup for the playoffs.

I hope he finds his way into it. The play is going to ramp up in the playoffs. Had he gone back to juniors, the areas where he had to get better would have been left dormant. So he had to play this year and face those areas head on. Hes a terrifically talented kid with speed. He has to learn to make these plays that he can do and weve seen these plays all the time. So Im relatively satisfied. Tyler is a good kid and hes going to get better.

Its obvious Seguin wants to participate in his first postseason, but is also mature enough to understand this was a potential outcome after getting drafted by a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. As has been clear to anybody who's come into contact with the Bs rookie, hes a much different player and person than Phil Kessel and there isnt going to be the same kind of collateral damage to his psyche as there was with Kessel after he was benched in his first playoffs.

Seguin isnt Kessel, and thats a very good thing.

Obviously I want to play every game and help the team out any way I can, said Seguin following the win versus the Ottawa Senators last weekend. I think thats been the bonus about this the whole time. Back on draft day, obviously I almost went No. 1 and went to the Oilers. But that team is out, and this club is making a Cup run.

So no matter what, I dont regret that decision. It wasnt really my decision, but I dont regret the path that Im on.

Coach Claude Julien has also noticed that the 19-year-old has responded very positively to adversity throughout the season a tribute to Seguins coachability and his ability to rise to the occasion when the moment strikes him. Nearly every time he was scratched or had a potential demotion back to junior hockey looming over his head, he responded with a statement game full of energy and offensive production.

Julien is hoping that happens if and when Seguin inserted into the Boston lineup on the run to Stanleys Cup. Theres also the sheer fact that there may come a time in the playoffs when Seguins offensive spark both his sniper shot and passing instincts will be needed to help spruce up a power play that hasnt been good all season.

Anybody who has watched him play knows Seguin needs to grow and thats going to come with experience and with time. Were willing to give him that, said Julien. But I think right now its about giving him that opportunity. There have been times hes had to sit back because we dont want him getting comfortable. By sitting him out every once in a while, he gets hungry.

Thats what you want a player to be. You want him to be hungry, you want him to know that its not a given that hes going to be I every night and that hes got to earn it. Thats part of growing as a young player.

Seguin is growing by leaps and bounds in his first NHL season, and the first playoff taste will be yet another classroom experience.

Chiarelli said arrangements have been made with the Montreal police to keep any investigation into the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty from becoming a potential distraction in a playoff series in the first round of the playoffs.

The Bs GM said the Montreal authorities have been very good and he didnt expect anything untoward to take place once the Bruins head up to Quebec on Sunday night for Games Three and Four on Monday and Thursday.

I expect there to be obviously a heightened sense of emotion from the media, from the fans, from just people walking around the city. I dont anticipate any security concerns, said Chiarelli. Youve seen how emotional it gets up there so I think there will be a bit of a frenzy. So were preparing for it and whatever happens, well deal with it.

There will be a group of 10 young Bs players working out in Providence while serving as Black Aces for the Bruins a group of skaters ready to fill in should a rash of injuries hit Boston as they maneuver through the Stanley Cup postseason. Chiarelli said goalie Anton Khudobin will be with the Bruins for the first series, and singled out only Zach Hamill as one of the young Bruins players remaining in Providence.

But its expected Matt Bartkowski, Andrew Bodnarchuk and Colby Cohen will all be remaining behind as defensemen depth with Steve Kampfer on the shelf after suffering a knee injury.

Chiarelli also said that Ryan Spooner, Ryan Button and Jared Knight wouldnt be eligible to be Black Aces after signing with the Bruins in the last week.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

BOSTON – Less than 48 hours after one of his legendarily hard slap shots put a Montreal Canadiens forward in the hospital after striking him in the head, Zdeno Chara didn’t hesitate when given the chance to wind up and blast away on Monday afternoon.

It was the 40-year-old Chara that rocketed a slapper past Kari Lehtonen at the end of the second period, and in doing so energized the Bruins while getting them on the scoreboard. The Chara goal helped earn the Black and Gold a point in overtime before eventually falling to the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins captain had been texting with the felled Montreal winger on Monday, and was fully aware that Phillip Danault was out of the hospital and doing well aside from understandable concussion symptoms after a puck to the head. Perhaps that eased Chara’s mind just a little when it came time to lean into another wind-up slapper on Monday, but it was also certainly aided by the lack of brave bodies willing to front one of his heavy, hard point blasts.

“I obviously spoke to Phillip a number of times. I talked to him right after the game and wanted to make sure he was okay, and he texted me back that he’s doing fine. He’s been released [from the hospital] and that’s very positive, good news,” said Chara. “It’s obviously very unfortunate that it’s something that happens quite often, but it’s something you never want to see with somebody getting hit and hurt. I’m very happy he’s going to recover fully and hopefully he’s back on the ice and playing hockey [soon] like we all do.”

Was there any hesitation to Chara winding up and stepping into a 100-mph slap shot so quickly after the ugly incident in Montreal?

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often where you have that clean [shooting] path to the net where you can settle the puck, take a look and take a full slapper,” said Chara. “Usually teams play so well structurally that there’s already somebody fronting it, and you’ve got to get it through him with bodies in front. It does happen, but it’s nice that you have that time to put everything on it.”

That’s exactly what the 6-foot-9 defenseman did in sparking the Bruins to come back from a 2-0 deficit and push for the overtime point while extending their point streak to a season-best 13 games and counting.

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Overtime heroics a reminder of what Bruins gave up in Seguin

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Overtime heroics a reminder of what Bruins gave up in Seguin

BOSTON – The Tyler Seguin trade from the Bruins is pretty much ancient history at this point.

It was almost five years ago, all of the good-but-not-great players Boston received in the deal from Dallas are long gone. The Bruins general manager that engineered the big trade is now dealing with totally different brush fires while running a star-crossed Edmonton Oilers group.

But the one Stars visit per season to Boston usually serves as a reminder of what the B’s dealt away in the Fourth of July trade, and for perhaps the first time ever Seguin looked like a legit, all-around No. 1 center in the Stars 3-2 overtime win over the B’s at TD Garden. Seguin made the highlight reel with an overtime game-winner after dangling through the entire Bruins group on the ice, and watching bemusement as Bruins kept diving at him trying to stop him.

The gassed trio of Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak and Matt Grzelcyk were on the ice hemmed into the D-zone for a long time, and simply couldn’t get the puck away from the Stars once a delayed penalty was called on Grzelcyk.

“I felt like everyone was just sliding at me, and the whole time I wanted to pass, so I was just kind of looking for the right play and just kept holding it,” said Seguin, who is on pace for 39 goals and 75 points this season with the Stars. “I just kind of shot it and luckily it went in.”

It was more than luck as Anton Khudobin had already dropped into a crazed double-pad stacked save attempt while Seguin was still holding patiently onto the puck.

“That’s really tough, to be honest. He has the puck there, and all the way, all the way, going, going, going, going and I mean, guys were laying down and trying to block the shot,” said Khudobin. “He had a lot of patience and I think it went between my legs or something like that and it’s just tough. Good goal by him.'

“Nothing is impossible. You know, [Seguin] is a good player and he scored a pretty good goal. But at the same time I can stop that. But I didn’t this time and overtime is not really easy because it’s 3-on-3.”

But all the overtime heroics aside, Seguin was solid throughout the game. It was almost enough to make Bruins fans go through the entire gamut of emotions again at one of a number of trades where the organization cut bait on a talented player at a very young juncture of their career.

“I think he’s through testing. I think he has made himself to be a very good player, and he’s accountable in every situation. He’s really matured. I think he’s a guy that we don’t even worry about anymore,” said Dallas head coach Ken Hitchcock. “Everyone talked about, ‘Can you make him a one?’ Well, quite frankly, he’s a [No. 1 center], and he’s playing like a one. He’s played six games in a row like this, and this is what you want in a number one center. He’s doing the job.

“He’s killing penalties, he’s out there taking key face-offs, he’s quarterbacking the power play, and he’s playing against the other team’s best player. To me, that’s what a [No. 1 center] does, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Mostly matched up against the Perfection Line that he used to be a part of, Seguin managed a 12-for-21 performance in the face-off circle while holding Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak off the board offensively. Even better for Seguin and Dallas, he was on the ice for the second Stars goal against the Bergeron trio for only the second even strength goal they’ve given up all season.

Seguin killed penalties, he finished with four shot attempts, had a couple of takeaways and played the kind of mature, 200-foot game that most wondered if he’d ever be capable of in his NHL career.

So credit where it’s due for Seguin showing all of that while clearly still in a headspace where coming to Boston is special for him.

“It’s special and it’s weird playing here still. You know, I enjoy the anthem, and looking up and seeing the banner for the team that I was a part of. It’s always going to be special, you know, playing here and having old teammates on the team,” said Seguin. “I’ve been thinking a lot more of defense, a lot more of face-offs, and a lot more of, you know, the little things. I’ve been judging my performances based on those things more than goals and assists. That’s been the biggest change for me, trying to put the work in, and [against the Bruins] it worked out for me.”

The Bruins have long since chalked up dealing a horse (Seguin) for ponies (Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow) as a big fat loss considering it never got them any closer to another Stanley Cup, and it didn’t give them any players still of use to the organization less than five years later.

But Monday afternoon’s overtime loss to Seguin and the Stars was a different kind of frustrating while watching a more mature, seemingly changed Seguin that would have fit in very nicely with the direction that the Bruins are headed these days.

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