|05.18.11 at 1:35 am ET|
|05.18.11 at 12:53 am ET|
Following one of the most stunning playoff performances by a rookie in Bruins history, 19-year-old Tyler Seguin took it all in stride. Seguin, playing in just his second playoff game after the concussion to Patrice Bergeron at the end of the second round, took over and amazed the TD Garden crowd with a second period performance for the ages.
“It’s definitely tough watching from above,” Seguin said of his vantage point as a healthy scratch from the press box in the first two rounds. “I try to take everything in and learn as much as I can, but it’s hard sitting there and not being able to help the boys. I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity I got.”
After scoring a goal and an assist his first playoff opportunity in Game 1 Saturday night, Seguin took over in the second period with the Bruins down, 2-1. He scored the first of his two second-period goals 48 seconds in to tie the game. He would add another goal while setting up both of Michael Ryder‘s second-period tallies.
“I think it’s just the learning curve,” Seguin said. “It’s been a whole learning curve all year. As the year went on, I’ve felt more confident and more poised. In big games, I always want to step up. Tonight, I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all the opportunities and they were going in tonight.”
And to think he was snubbed by the mighty Canadian World Junior team in 2010, presumably because the coaching and development staff didn’t think he was ready to put his talent all together on the world stage. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.17.11 at 10:57 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
It was the Tyler Seguin Show Tuesday, as the rookie had a four-point showing in a 6-5 Bruins win over the Lightning at the TD Garden that tied the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.
Seguin scored two goals, tying the game 48 seconds into the second period, and giving the B’s a 4-2 lead at 6:30 of the second. Michael Ryder also had two goals for the Bruins, both of which were assisted by Seguin. Nathan Horton and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins. Horton and Krejci are now tied for the team lead with six goals this postseason.
The B’s chased Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson after two periods and six goals. It was the first time this postseason that Roloson allowed more than three goals. Tampa got its scoring from Adam Hall, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Dominic Moore. They came back from a 6-3 deficit to make it 6-5 in the third, but in the end Tim Thomas and the Bruins held on.
The teams now travel to Tampa, where they will play Games 3 and 4 before returning to Boston next week for Game 5.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Everyone knew Seguin had all the talent in the world, but nobody expected the type of explosion that was displayed Tuesday. The 19-year-old’s pair of flashy goals made for his second and third tallies of the series. On his first goal, he blew by a pair of Lightning defenders and beat a sprawling Roloson with a nifty forehand-backhand move. Six minutes later, just moments after Thomas stoned Ryan Malone on a breakaway, Seguin rifled a shot under the crossbar to give the B’s a 4-2 lead. He would contribute assists on a pair of Michael Ryder goals in the period (one of which game on — gasp — the power play) to cap an impressive four-point second period.
With six points in two games this postseason, Seguin now has half the points of Patrice Bergeron, who entered the game leading the team with 12 points.
– Milan Lucic has hardly been a force to be reckoned with this postseason, and after taking a Seguin shot off the right foot Monday and missing Tuesday’s skate, his impact on Game 2 was something many were keeping an eye on. Amidst all that, he came out like a man possessed. Lucic had four shots on goal in the first period, which had already made for his second-highest total of the postseason. Lucic played a big role in the team’s power play goal, screening Roloson alongside Horton, who tipped it in.
– As bad as the opening and closing seconds of it were, the Bruins absolutely dominated play in the first period. Though the Lightning got 11 shots on Tim Thomas, the puck possession swayed heavily in favor of the Bruins, whose nonstop possession in the offensive zone for two shifts without the puck leaving the zone caused Tampa coach Guy Boucher to call a timeout at 5:52 despite his team holding a 1-0 lead.
– The Bruins had two power-play goals in the entire postseason entering Tuesday night. They doubled that with a pair of tallies on the man advantage in Game 2. After Roloson stood on his head to deny the Bruins on an extended 5-on-3, Kaberle set up a Seidenberg one-timer that Horton deflected home with one second left on the 5-on-4. Then in the second period, Ryder collected a rebound off a Seguin shot and backhanded the puck past Roloson to make it 5-3. Perhaps just as important as the goals themselves was the fact that the power play looked good all game long. The Bruins got set up with relative ease, made clean passes and created one scoring chance after another.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins dominated the vast majority of the first period, but a pair of breakdowns at each end of the frame left them trailing at the intermission. The Lightning scored just 13 seconds into the game when Lecavalier sent a shot wide and Hall beat a pair of Bruins to the left doorstep and banged home the rebound. After getting outworked for the next 19-plus minutes, the Lightning struck again with just 6.5 seconds left in the period when St. Louis beat Johnny Boychuk to the front of the net and tipped in Stamkos’ centering pass.
– As explosive as they were offensively, there is still a bit of sloppiness they need to clean up. Boychuk nearly gave the Lightning a goal in the first period by banking an intended pass off Tomas Kaberle in front of the net. The Lightning’s second goal went off Boychuk’s skate, and he looked bad on Stamkos’ goal as well. Kaberle made things dangerous for Krejci with a buddy pass when breaking out of the Bruins’ zone. The Lightning also had a pair of breakaways, though Thomas stopped them both.
|05.17.11 at 7:36 pm ET|
Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia, Rob Bradford, Joey the Fish, and a cast of others as the B’s look to even the Eastern Conference finals in Game 2 vs. the Lightning.
|05.17.11 at 7:04 pm ET|
Bruins center Marc Savard will be at Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the B’s and Lightning, marking his first return to TD Garden since being shut down for the season on Feb. 7.
Savard is dealing with post-concussion syndrome following a clean hit from former teammate Matt Hunwick on Jan. 22 in Colorado. Since being shut down for the regular season and playoffs, Savard has stayed at home in Peterborough, Ontario. The 33-year-old had two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 25 games this year. He began the season on long-term injured reserve due to PCS from the hit he took last March 7 from Penguins forward Matt Cooke.
Savard will not be available to the media.
|05.17.11 at 2:57 pm ET|
While the Bruins anxiously await the return of a concussed player in Patrice Bergeron, the Lightning seem a bit farther away from seeing Pavel Kubina back in their lineup. Kubina, who suffered a head injury in Game 1 of the conference semifinals vs. the Capitals, still is not with the team and doesn’t seem on the fast-track to return to action
“He’s not with us. He’s not even here, so the update is not very good,” Guy Boucher said when asked for an update on Kubina. “Every day when there seems to be a little progression, it kind of slips back a bit. So it’s kind of an injury that you never know.
“You wake up the next day and everything’s great or just keeps on going the same way so it’s very hard to monitor what’s going on with him. But obviously we’re missing him. He’s got size. He’s got some offensive abilities on our second power play, he made a big difference on it.
But right now we’ve adapted. Bergeron’s kind of taken the lead on that power play with Purcell. And we had to adapt because he was doing very well for us.”
Kubina had two power play goals and an assist for the Lightning before suffering the injury. He had dour goals and 19 assists for 23 points during the regular season.
|05.17.11 at 1:15 pm ET|
As Tomas Kaberle continues to struggle, the Bruins could be getting closer to having a viable option (and one who has fared well against the Lightning) to threaten his ice time.
Defenseman Steven Kampfer, who suffered a knee injury late in the regular season while getting some playing time in Providence, told WEEI.com Tuesday that he is “definitely” ready to return to the lineup if need be. Kampfer, 22, has spent extra time out on the ice as he works to get his back into tip-top shape.
“I feel ready to go,” Kampfer said Tuesday. “It’s something that I talked about with the trainers the other day. If something happens, I definitely feel ready to go. It’s those extra couple skates that are definitely going to help.”
In the three games in which the B’s have had to go without one of their six regulars this postseason — Game 2 of the conference quarterfinals for Zdeno Chara and Games 3 and 4 of the semifinals for Adam McQuaid — Shane Hnidy has played, but has done so sparingly.
Coach Claude Julien has said multiple times recently that Kampfer is healthy, but that his conditioning as he returns to skating remains what separates him from being an option if needed. He barely strayed from that line Tuesday, saying Kampfer is “still working on his conditioning, but certainly getting close.”
Kampfer admitted that his conditioning remains a process, but that the extra work he’s put in has gotten to a point where he’d be comfortable returning to the lineup.
“When you don’t skate for a month, it definitely takes a while to get your conditioning back,” Kampfer said. “You can ride the bike, you can do things like that, but skating condition is different than a bike and everything like that. We’ve been doing a little extra work here and there, and a couple more extra skating sessions is definitely going to help.”
While it would seemingly take an injury for Kampfer to make his postseason debut, the idea of him putting a little pressure on Kaberle should be considered out of the question. Kaberle was awful in Game 1, and throughout the playoffs has been a disappointment for the Bruins. A good puck-moving defenseman is an asset against a team like the Lightning, but the only notable moving of a puck by Kaberle in Game 1 came on his turnover behind his own net to lead to a goal, and his confusing slap shot into the corner on the power play in the second period.
If Kaberle keeps putting up stinkers for 15-plus minutes a night, maybe it would be worth it to give the kid a chance. Call it the defensive version of the Tyler Seguin/Michael Ryder lineup spot argument, but Kampfer has performed at his best against Tampa, scoring two of his five goals this season against the Lightning. His speed and passing ability matches up well against a team that shows different looks in the neutral zone as well.
“It definitely fits my style when you play a team that I guess plays a 1-3-1,” Kampfer said of Guy Boucher‘s neutral zone forecheck. “You move your feet and you can skate through it, but that’s something our whole team can do. Everyone here is quick and everyone can make passes. It’s something that we’ve got to [do] tonight and the rest of the series.”
Though Kampfer had goals against the Lightning on Dec. 28 (his first career tally) and March 3, he said he doesn’t look at the Tampa matchup and think of how he can change the series. As he waits for his time, he has confidence in the guys out there.
“Anyone can make a difference in this series,” he said. “It’s just how you play and how you take the game plan to them. It’s something that we talked about this morning, is how our team’s going to play. We have our system that we’re going to stick to. I think everyone has had success against this team, and I think everyone here knows how to play.”
When Kampfer actually returns to game action for the Bruins remains unknown. If it’s this series, next series or next season, he’ll be ready to continue working off a rookie campaign that had its ups (the Tampa games, nine games of 20 minutes or more in 38 contests) and the downs (the disastrous ending to the March 17 game in which a misplay and a bad penalty cost the team the game and cost him his spot in the lineup) of his rookie campaign.
If Kaberle continues to struggle though, maybe it’s worth rolling the dice. Yes, Kaberle was a costly acquisition, but the Bruin showed in Games 3 and 4 of the second round that they can win without putting him out there. It’s crazy to think, but it’s not out of the question. A combination of more duds from Kaberle and a ready-to-go Kampfer could put a bit more pressure on the 33-year-old, if it isn’t there already.